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Foreign Minister Paet Mentioned Border Queue Problems at Meeting of European Union with Russian Foreign Minister


No. 289-E

At their meeting in New York, the foreign ministers of the NATO member states and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed NATO-Russia co-operation in Afghanistan, the fight against piracy, developments in arms control, missile defence, and the situations in Georgia and Moldova. At the similar meeting held between the European Union and Russian foreign ministers, topics of discussion were EU-Russia relations, including the border queue problem.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who participated in the meeting, stated that close NATO-Russia and European Union-Russia co-operation is necessary, but we cannot pretend to ignore some considerable differences of opinion, like the treatment of Georgia’s territorial integrity and a resolution for the Transnistria issue. “While we continue to move forward with practical co-operation in our relations with Russia, we must also continue to address our undeniable differences. We cannot back down from the principle of Georgia’s territorial integrity or the necessity to remove Russian troops from Transnistria,” Paet emphasised.

During the EU-Russia foreign ministers’ meeting Foreign Minister Paet also brought up the issue of border queues, which demands a quick solution. “Queues with a wait time of tens of hours at the border between the EU and Russia are not acceptable,” he stated.

Another topic discussed at the meeting was the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) and its coming into force. The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty is one of three documents forming the basis for arms control in Europe, along with the Vienna Document and the Open Skies Treaty signed in 1999. Estonia is not a party to the treaty, but supports NATO’s unified position to restore the conventional arms control regime in order to increase the security of European nations.

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