Disinfo: Tartu Peace Treaty is null and void

Summary

The statements of a number of Estonian politicians that the Tartu Peace Treaty continues to be valid are null and void from a legal point of view.

We have repeatedly emphasized that the contract is not in the register of existing UN international treaties. Therefore, from a legal point of view, all these arguments of the Estonian side on the continuation of the document are absolutely insignificant. Such statements are made in order to maintain “the immediate interests of the part of the political elite of Estonia, which is stimulated from the outside”, to maintain tension in relations between Moscow and Tallinn.

Disproof

The peace treaty between the Republic of Estonia and Soviet Russia was signed on 2 February 1920, and it ended the Estonian War of Independence that had lasted for nearly a year and a half. According to the treaty, Russia recognised Estonian independence de jure, renouncing voluntarily “for ever all rights of sovereignty formerly held by Russia over the Estonian people and territory”. It also established Estonia’s eastern border.

To this day the section 122 of the constitution of Estonia reads: "The land border of Estonia is determined by the Tartu Peace Treaty of 2 February 1920 and by other international border agreements." Thus Estonia regards the Tartu Peace Treaty very much in effect.

"Attempts by Russia to falsify history by denying the annexation of Estonia constitutes vindication of the policy of spheres of influence and the violence of totalitarian regimes and is condemned by the Republic of Estonia," Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu said. Minister Reinsalu also remarked that the Tartu Treaty is considered valid to this day, and is linked to the concepts of the illegal annexation of Estonia and the restoration of the country’s sovereignty.

The claim about outside stimulation to maintain tensions between Moscow and Tallinn is a great example of "under the control of" narrative hinting Estonia is not really sovereign. Similar examples include Americans need to keep the Europeans under their tight control, and Ukraine has been under systematic external control.

In the context of Soviet Russia recognizing the independence of the Republic of Estonia in perpetuity, it should also be noted that in 1944 Estonia did not join the Soviet Union but was rather invaded, occupied and annexed. Estonia regained independence in 1991, and Russian troops finally withdrew from Estonia in 1994.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Estonia
  • Keywords: Diplomacy with Russia, Imperialism/colonialism, Russian expansionism

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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