In less than 10 days there will be elections in Russia. Will they result in a new foreign minister or a new foreign policy towards the "near abroad" -- I think not.
Chances are we'll be stuck with more Sergei Lavrov and more typical useless Russian foreign policy towards Estonia and more denial on basic facts of history that even the Politburo archives support.
The central problem in Russia foreign policy towards Estonia is thus: Russia is too proud to use national guilt to its advantage. This plays easily into the hands of Isamaa Liit -- Russia is too proud to acknowledge the crimes against humanity in Estonia in the 1940s and 50s. Estonian right wing parties acknowledge this simple truth and win elections.
If I were Sergei Lavrov and I wanted to make nice with Estonia, I would steal all of Isamaa Liit (and Reformierakond)'s thunder. I would pack up my Lada with wreaths and set out from Sankt Petersburg for Tallinn where I would cry and cry some more for Konstantin Päts, Lydia Koidula, and everyone in between. I would say that these were awful crimes that should never be repeated, all the while meeting with local business leaders t o cut sweetheart deals.
And because Venemaa had made amends and no one could challenge the sovereign word of sovereign democracy, the Russian bogeyman would dissipate , and Estonian right wing parties would have a harder time winning elections.
That's not going to happen. Instead Lavrov and Putin and Yastrzhembsky will continue to build a state on Stalinist newsreels about the Red Army while at the same time alienating every other human on Earth. They will continue to deny basic historical truths about Estonia with the weak idea that they somehow have any say in what the West (TM) believes. And they will continue to fail in bringing Estonia over to their side or at least cutting a "friendship treaty" with Estonia ala Finland because Sergei Lavrov has yet to load up the Lada with wreaths and travel to the kalmistu to honor the dead; to show empathy; to show that to Russians, Estonians aren't really barbarian fascist shite.
A smart foreign minister would see the road ahead and be willing to take it. But Russia does not have a smart foreign ministry. Instead we see nationalist chauvinists that only make sense to Russians. And they wonder how they managed to lose Estonia. Let them keep on wondering.