Here is a great piece by the Eurasia Daily Monitor that explains why the Russian Federation are the ones with “dead donkey ears” when it comes to their failure to ratify the border line agreed upon by the Estonian foreign ministry and Russian foreign ministry on May 18.
the Russian government seems intent to retaliate against Estonia’s reassertion of the state’s legal continuity, as reflected in the Estonian parliament’s reamble to the law on the ratification of the border treaty.
The piece, by Vladimir Socor, goes on to spell out why it doesn’t really make a difference what Estonia’s preamble says.
The refusal has no legal grounds however. The duma would be asked to ratify the treaty as signed, not the preamble to Estonia’s ratification law. Moreover…the preamble contains no reservations toward the border treaty’s terms, no demands of any kind, and no conditions for the treaty’s implementation as signed with the Russian side.
So now, the Estonian government can only wait. They have a border line, as decreed by President Arnold Ruutel yesterday. A very interesting end to an interesting Spring. One interesting thing I have been just starting to understand is the basis for the preamble, which is to restate that the Estonian government today is the legal continuation of the Estonian government proclaimed in 1918, and recognized at the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920.
In September 1939, the Estonian government foolishly allowed the Soviet Union to station troops in Estonia. Hundreds of thousands of troops were brought into the country as the crisis in Europe deepened. In June 1940, the Estonian government was driven from power by “demonstrators” that seized Tallinn’s police stations, parliament, communications etc.
The solely Communist government was proclaimed and requested to join the Soviet Union, where it was accepted in August 1940. Military officers and government officials from the legitimate government were rounded up and deported by the Soviets, most being executed in Estonia and in Russia in 1940-42.
However, the Communist government did not last long. In 1941 the Nazis took Estonia, and Estonia was incorporated into “Ostland” – its province that was supposed to include also Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus.
As the Nazis retreated in September 1944 however, Estonia’s prime minister, Juri Uluots, formed a new government, one that was still recognized by the international community. As the Soviet’s reinvaded Estonia in the fall of 1944, the new ministers fled. Most were captured and executed. But Uluots and others escaped to Stockholm, where a government in exile was set up, not dissimilar to DeGaulle’s French government in England in the early 1940s.
This government in exile remained until 1992, when the prime minister in exile, acting in duties of the president, presented his credentials to the incoming Estonian government.
The Russian Federation does not accept the continuation of the Estonian government. In their mindset, the Stalinist history, that Estonia willingly joined the USSR in 1940, and the old government was dissolved. It’s worth noting that the exile government was recognized by the international community. But it may take a long time before Russia “purges” itself of its Stalinist myth making.