TALLINN, October 4 (Itar-Tass) - After a three-day stay in Estonia, Russia's nationalities minister has resumed that this Baltic state injures rights of its ethnic Russian community numbering 315,000 and warned that bilateral relations will stall until this problem is sorted out.
Interests of ethnic Russians are ill-protected in Estonia, Vyacheslav Mikhailov told reporters on Friday. All Russians residing in Estonia are denied local citizenship.
He called for a civilised solution to this problem as a condition of significant progress in the development of economic, social and other ties between Russia and Estonia.
Mikhailov said also that Estonia's legislation on aliens -- all permanent residents of the republic who are denied citizenship -- "does not comply with European standards." He remarked that the last three years had brought no shifts to positive in this sphere while certain negative trends had come to light.
The Russian delegation, which included government officials and lawmakers, pointed out that simplification of naturalisation procedures, especially for ex-Soviet citizens born in Estonia, would be desirable.
Mikhailov quoted Russian President Boris Yeltsin as being not satisfied with the implementation of a treaty on the basics of bilateral relations, signed in Tallinn on January 13, 1991, by the Estonian side.
The treaty stipulated that all Soviet citizens who then resided in Estonia were to be granted Estonian citizenship, but Estonia has ignored this provision.
The agreement on social quarantees to Russian servicemen, pensioners and their family members is not observed in full as well, the minister said.
In conclusion, Mikhailov voiced hope that many of the problems facing non-Estonian residents of this tiny republic will be solved.
That Estonia is striving to sort out these problems is evidenced by the introduction of a position of minister of inter- ethnic relations in Estonia and an accord on the forming of a Russian-Estonian inter-govern ... Read more