Motion for a resolution - B6-0218/2007Motion for a resolution



to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Philip Claeys, Frank Vanhecke, Koenraad Dillen and Ashley Mote
on behalf of the ITS Group
on the situation in Estonia

Procedure : 2007/2567(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the situation in Estonia

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 2(3) and (4) of the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,

–  having regard to the declaration of 27 August 1991 by the foreign ministers of the then European Economic Community,

–  having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 12 September 1991,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas during the night of 27 to 28 April 2007 fierce clashes broke out between ethnic Russians and the Estonian police in the centre of the Estonian capital Tallinn in response to the removal of the Soviet monument of the Bronze Soldier from the centre of Tallinn to the military cemetery, and one person died and dozens more were injured,

B.  whereas disturbances have also occurred in the Estonian towns of Johvi and Narva,

C.  whereas the monument of the Bronze Soldier was erected in 1948, officially in order to commemorate Estonia's 'liberation' by the soldiers of the Red Army,

D.  whereas, however, the arrival of the Red Army meant anything but liberation from Nazi terror to Estonians, but on the contrary marked the beginning of a new illegal Soviet occupation and new terror, leading, between 1949 and 1959, to some 19 000 Estonians being executed and tens of thousands deported,

E.  whereas the Soviet monument of the Bronze Soldier is therefore rightly regarded by Estonians as a symbol of terror, suppression and colonisation,

F.  whereas, directly following the serious clashes in Tallinn, the Estonian Embassy in Moscow was besieged for more than a week by youth movements sympathetic to the Kremlin, which led to consular services having to be halted for a time and even forced wives and children of Estonian diplomats to leave Moscow,

G.  whereas on 2 May 2007 the Estonian ambassador to Moscow was physically attacked by members of one of these youth movements during a press conference,

H.  whereas Russia's Federation Council adopted a resolution on 27 April 2007 calling on President Putin to freeze diplomatic relations with Estonia and impose economic sanctions on that country,

I.  whereas Russia halted oil and coal exports to Estonia on 2 May 2007, officially on account of an acute shortage of rail wagons and repairs to oil pipelines,

J.  whereas the web sites of several Estonian government institutions have been targeted a number of times by cyber attacks, which, according to the Estonian foreign minister, have clearly been coming from computers and persons in Russian government institutions, including bodies directly under the authority of President Putin,

K.  whereas in various Russian state media there has been distorted and inflammatory reporting on the removal of the Soviet monument,

L.  whereas such actions are illustrative of the official Russian view that there was no question of illegal annexation of the Baltic states,

M.  whereas this is demonstrated, for example, by the declaration of 23 November 2004 unanimously adopted by the Duma stating that Soviet armed forces liberated the Baltic states,

N.  whereas, in contrast, the various European institutions have always regarded the annexation and occupation of the Baltic states within the Soviet Union as illegal and unacceptable, and, for example, in 1979 the European Parliament voiced its support for a proposal by a number of representatives of the Baltic states that the issue of the illegal occupation of those countries be raised within the United Nations' Decolonization Committee,

1.  Expresses its full support for the removal of the Soviet monument of the Bronze Soldier from the centre of Tallinn, and strongly condemns the actions of the rioters;

2.  Emphasises that the removal of the monument should not be seen as showing a lack of respect for Russians who fell in action;

3.  Condemns Russian interference in Estonia's internal affairs, and calls on the Russian Federation to normalise diplomatic, economic and trade relations with Estonia;

4.  Draws the attention of the Russian Federation to its obligations under international law pursuant to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations;

5.  Regrets the remarks by the former German Federal Chancellor that the removal of the Soviet monument is an affront to Russian soldiers who fell during the Second World War;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Council, in accordance with the declaration of 27 August 1991, to insist to the Russian Federation that an international commission be set up to resolve the issue of the annexation of the Baltic states and to then deal with assessing the damage suffered by the Baltic states under Soviet occupation;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation.