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Estonia: Internal Agreement Needed On Border Talks With Russia

Tallinn, 19 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Border talks between Estonia and Russia are likely to stall unless internal political considerations are resolved by both sides, Estonian Foreign Minister Siim Kallas said yesterday.

Under present conditions, the agreement with Russia would not be passed by the Estonian parliament, Kallas told the Baltic News Service. He is quoted as saying that the talks have reached a point where internal political agreements are crucial.

Kallas made the comment on the eve of another round of bilateral talks set to take place in St. Petersburg.

Earlier, the head of the Estonian delegation at the talks, Foreign Ministry Deputy Chancellor Raul Malk, said that the St. Petersburg round would focus on technical details of the borderline, as well as how the Tartu Peace Treaty should be mentioned in the agreement.

Under that treaty, which was signed shortly after World War I, Estonia was granted a slice of land in what is now the Russian region of Pskov.

Estonia wants Russia to recognize the validity of the Tartu Peace Treaty in the new agreement. Russia has opposed such a measure.