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Foreign Minister will not meet with members of the State Duma

01.05.2007

Tuesday, 1 May – The Estonian Foreign Minister refused to meet with the Russian State Duma delegation.

“By welcoming the State Duma delegation, Estonia has proved to the international community its good will in desiring to hold open and transparent dialogue with Russia”, said Paet. “All the more that the suggestion of a visit by representatives of the Russian State Duma came as a result of the telephone conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” he added.

According to the Foreign Minister, it is clear that the objectives of the Russian visit are completely the opposite. The Estonian Foreign Minister emphasized that he does not see any reason to meet with a delegation whose members have during the duration of the visit only tried to interfere in internal Estonian matters. “The behavior of the Duma delegation as well as their declarations have been extremely unacceptable,” stressed Paet.

“I will not meet with a delegation that spreads only lies regarding events in Estonia and whose objective is not the accurate portrayal of the situation, but rather election campaigning,” said Paet. The Foreign Minister added that Estonia will not agree with the inappropriate demands of the Duma delegation members. “I believe that it is out of line to spread lies about the Bronze Soldier, to make demands for the resignation of the Estonian government and to take random vicious statements as well as not to participate in agreed meetings,” noted Paet.

“The Duma members were not scheduled to visit the excavation site at Tõnismägi, because Estonia had formally requested that the Russian Embassy name an observer for the excavation process, which the Russian side categorically refused to do,” said Paet. “Election campaigning and slander, which have characterized the behavior of the State Duma delegates in Estonia, is utterly disgraceful,” emphasized the Estonian Foreign Minister.

Other members of the Estonian Government also cancelled their meetings with the Russian State Duma delegation.


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