Statement by the Foreign Minister Urmas Paet(6)
The Bronze Soldier and the vandalism in Tallinn was Estonian domestic matter, but Russia’s coordinated actions against Estonia are a European Union problem. Thus, European Union-Russia relations have entered a very complicated situation.
The attacks are virtual, psychological and real.
Before the riots, representatives of the Russian Embassy met with the main organisers of the riots in Tallinn and other Estonian cities. The meetings took place in very strange locations such as the Tallinn Botanical Garden.
It has been established that cyber terrorist attacks against Estonian governmental institution websites and that of the President’s Office’s have been made from IP addresses of concrete computers and by concrete individuals from Russian government organs including the administration of the President of the Russian Federation.
The Russian State Duma delegation, which visited Estonia through the intermediation of the European Union’s Presidency, has demanded the resignation of the government and refuses to cooperate or enter into dialogue with Estonian officials. The visiting delegation only made demands and false allegations. This is interference in Estonian internal matters.
The youth organisation Nashi has surrounded the Estonian Embassy in Moscow, which also is the residence for all the employees. In essence, the employees are being held hostage. Today, Russian parliamentarians indicated that if there was a desire on Russian side, the special police would be able to free the Embassy in three minutes – however, the special police have said that their orders are to ensure only the minimum of security. Today, the Estonian flag was torn from the Embassy building. These actions are all in breach of the Vienna Convention.
The direct links of hostile Russian youth organisations like Nashi and Molodaja Gvardija to the Kremlin are well known. Just as well known is the fact that each person holding Estonian Embassy in Moscow under siege is being paid 550-1000 roubles per day by the Kremlin.
Russian television channels, whose “freedom” is well known throughout the world, do not show clips of rioters in the streets, but rather of “innocent” citizens of Russian decent being “terrorised” by police officers. They also broadcast news of Estonian police killing detainees and that the Estonian Defence Forces have been given the command to shoot Russians. These are gross lies.
I affirm to you that we have sufficient material to prove our accusations.
This all clearly shows that the future of people of Russian decent in the Estonian Republic is only being used as a rhetorical pretext for “active measures” and our compatriots are being used for greater political gains.
On Thursday, I will make a proposal to the Estonian Government as to which measures Estonia believes that the European Union should apply to Russia. These measures have to influence Russia so that it ends the attacks and its interference in internal matters of Estonia as well force Russia to fulfil its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The measures should affect EU-Russia relations in its entirety.
We believe it to be essential that the European Union react in full strength against the behaviour of Russia. This might result in the suspension or cancellation of negotiations between the European Union and Russia. The postponement of the European Union-Russia Summit must be seriously considered.
If the situation at the Estonian Embassy in Moscow has not normalised by nine o’clock tomorrow morning, Estonia will end all consular services except for consular assitance to Estonian citizens in its Moscow consulate. The services will be resumed once the situation has returned to normal. We will continue to monitor the security of our other representations in Russia.