eesti keeles

Press Releases
Open in print mode

The President of the Republic met with the President and the Patriarch of Russia

President Arnold Rüütel met with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.President Arnold Rüütel started today in Moscow his working visit meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia.

The Head of Estonian state was met by Patriarch Alexy II at Sheremetjevo airport and from there they proceeded to the Patriarch's residence in the territory of the Kremlin. In the Patriarch's residents the Head of Estonian State had a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Alexy II.

At the meeting and a lunch following it, during more than two hours a number of topics were addressed. President Rüütel spoke about the action plan of the four common spaces presented by the EU to Russia. The plan covers the following areas: 1) economic space, 2) space of freedom, security and justice, 3) space of co-operation in the field of external security, and 4) space of research, education and culture.

Also the development of bilateral economic relations between Estonia and Russia were discussed, focusing specially on transboundary cooperation. The presidents agreed on the importance of the construction of a new bridge across the Narva River.

The Head of Russian state raised the issue of ethnic minorities. President Rüütel explained the policy of Estonia in those issues. The President of the Republic said that Estonia has done a lot of work and has shaped its legislation regulating the national minorities issues in accordance with international legal acts and customs. President Rüütel added that it was out of question to ignore the language requirements necessary for citizenship even in case of elderly people as in essence it meant a zero variant citizenship that would be unacceptable for Estonia.

Talking about Estonian-Russian border agreement, the Head of Estonian state suggested that the agreement could be signed by the foreign ministers of the two states and on May 10, when the EU-Russia Summit will be held in Moscow, Estonia and Russia could exchange the ratification instruments of the border agreement. President Putin regarded the suggestion seriously. The work with those issues will continue through diplomatic contacts of the two countries. In the context of the development of bilateral relations, also the need to activate the work of Estonian-Russian intergovernmental commission was discussed.

President Rüütel spoke about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the tragic events that happened in Estonia as a consequence of it. The President of the Republic stated that the decision on declaring the pact null and void by the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union in 1989 could be taken as a basis for mutual understanding between Estonia and Russia, the legal successor of the USSR. President Putin supported the denunciation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

President Putin accepted the invitation made by President Rüütel to visit Estonia with thanks. The Head of Russian state repeated the invitation to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of victory over Fascism on May 9 in Moscow, without tying it with any other issue of Estonian-Russian relations.

Characterizing the meeting that opened new possibilities in Estonian-Russian relations, the Head of Estonian state considered it to be a fruitful one. ''Both sides showed willingness for deeper mutual understanding,'' President Rüütel said.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, January 20, 2005

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l