Prime Minister Mart Siimann meets with Russia`s Deputy Foreign Minister, 23.12.1997

23.12.1997 | 00:00

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PRESS RELEASE, December 23, 1997.

Prime MinisterMart Siimann meets with Russia` s Deputy Foreign Minister.

Prime Minister Mart Siimann met todaywith Alexander Avdeyev, Russia` s Deputy Foreign Minister, who is visitingEstonia.

Avdeyev delivered verbally RussianPrime Minister Victor Tschernomyrdin` s answer to Siimann` s letter.
The Russian Prime Minister answeredto Siimann` s points on the establishment and activities of the Estonian­RussianJoint Commission, praising Estonian Prime Minister` s readiness to becomethe Commission` s cochairman. Tschernomyrdin appointed Deputy Prime MinisterOleg Sosuyevi to the position of Russia` s cochairman. The Russian PrimeMinister said that the Commission being created may not become a debatingclub. It must address real problems.

Mart Siimann stated the same positionat today` s meeting and hopes from the Commission substantive and constructivework in the resolution of critical questions in Estonian­Russian relations.The Commission should analyze comprehensively Estonian­Russian relations,including political, commercial, academic, and technological issues aswell as humanitarian and cultural ones.

Siimann emphasized that the minoritiesissue is Estonia` s internal matter with which the Estonian governmentdeals continuously.
Next week, at the government` slast meeting of the year, the government will begin to discuss the programof non­Estonians` integration.

The Russian Prime Minister saidin his message that he considers the solution of the Estonian­Russianborder question important. Tschernomyrdin` s position is that after theconclusion of the planned work on the necessary documents the final agreementscan be signed already in the near future.

The Estonian Prime Minister hasrepeatedly stated that Estonia is ready to sign the border treaty.

The Estonian Prime Minister expressedhope that he will be able to meet with the Russian Prime Minister at theJanuary meeting of the Baltic Sea Countries Council in Riga and to exchangethoughts with him.

After the Estonian government hasconfirmed Mart Siimann as the Joint Commission` s cochairman, Siimann hopesthat an agreeable time and place can be set in order for him to meet withthe Commission` s Russian leader, Deputy Prime Minister Sosuyev.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Siimannraised the matter of the return of the official symbol of office of thepresident of the Republic of Estonia. Alexander Avdeyev stated that thegovernment of Russia is aware of the problem and is seeking ways to solveit.
Siimann and Avdeyev also talkedabout the development of cooperation between the Estonian and Russian ministriesand they exchanged information about both countries` economic developmentand reform measures.

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