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Russia: Estonia

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received of Russia’s action in relation to Estonia since the relocation of the Russian war memorial statue; and what representation she has made to the Russian authorities on this subject. (138701)

The Government recognise the right of the Estonian Government to relocate war memorials and war graves and see this as an internal matter for Estonia. My right. hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary was briefed on Estonian-Russian relations by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 14 May. Russian-Estonian relations were discussed at the EU-Russia Summit on 18 May.

The Government support the remarks made by the president of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, at the EU-Russia summit that the EU is based on principles of solidarity and difficulties for one member state constitute a difficulty for the entire EU. We are fully supportive of both the EU presidency statement of 2 May and the NATO statement of 3 May, which both expressed grave concern over the safety of the Estonian Embassy and its staff in Russia and urged Russia to address the dispute through dialogue.