NEITHER THE DONKEY EARS NOR PYTALOVO

Author: Elena Shesternina

Latvia finally gave up "territorial claims" against Russia

Source: Izvestia (Moscow issue), January 11, 2007, p. 4

[The government of Latvia may sign an agreement on the border with Russia very soon. Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis hinted this unequivocally yesterday. According to Kalvitis, Riga is prepared to give up an unilateral declaration in the addendum to the agreement that became the main stepping stone and the reason for Moscow's accusations that Riga was going to state territorial claims against Russia.]

<> LATVIA IS PREPARED TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT ON THE BORDER WITH RUSSIA

The government of Latvia may sign an agreement on the border with Russia very soon. Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis hinted this unequivocally yesterday. According to Kalvitis, Riga is prepared to give up an unilateral declaration in the addendum to the agreement that became the main stepping stone and the reason for Moscow's accusations that Riga was going to state territorial claims against Russia.

At present, Russia does not have border agreements with Latvia and Estonia. Both situations are similar. The agreements were seemingly approved but at the very last moment both Latvian and Estonian parliaments decided to supplement them with declarations. In the first case, Latvia mentioned the Riga agreement of 1920 (according to it Latvia includes Abrene- Pytalovo, Pytalovo District of the Pskov Region) and in the second case Estonia mentioned the Tartu agreement of 1920 (according to which some districts of the current Pskov and Leningrad regions were parts of Estonia).

Riga and Tallinn assured Moscow that references of these documents should not be taken as territorial claims, but these assurances did not help. The agreements did not come into effect. Moscow authorities released extremely harsh statements addressed to their neighbors as well. It is possible to recall the statement of Vladimir Putin saying that "they will receive dead donkey's ...

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