esmaspäev, juuni 27, 2005

Russia Plays Hardball

According to various state information channels in the Russian Federation, the Russian government has revoked its signature from the border treaty inked with the Republic of Estonia on May 18 in Moscow.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

There will be no ratification since there will be no agreement itself. We need to start new negotiations to settle the border issues.

According to the Estonian foreign ministry there are no border issues.

The Estonian side has repeatedly assured that it has not linked any new issues to the border treaties, and thus, the Russian side's assertion that Estonia has added new aspects to the treaty is ungrounded.

You've got to love Lavrov. The guy shakes hands with Urmas Paet, and then decides a month later that he didn't really shake hands. Later, in Helsinki, Lavrov said he feared that the European Union might 'yield to temptation' in saying that:

Estonia ratified the agreement, although with some amendments, and Russia should have also ratified the agreement with its own amendments, for the sake of the agreements simple existence. In order to avoid such a temptation, we revoked our signature under the agreement. The agreement doesn't exist.

So where does that leave Estonia? Should they revoke their preamble to appease a bitter neighbor? Why would a sovereign nation do such a thing? I hope the EU does step in and ask the RF to honor its obligations. It will be interesting to see what the bureaucrats in Brussels will do when they are finally called upon to show some spine.

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