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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Border Decision 'Unilateral,' Estonia Complains to Russia

TALLINN, Estonia -- Estonia has protested against President Boris Yeltsin's decree on fixing the disputed border between the two nations and urged talks on the issue. A protest note handed by Foreign Minister Juri Luik to Russia's ambassador to Estonia on Wednesday said that Russia's "unilateral decision" came at a time when efforts to solve the two republics' problems had been given new impetus. Yeltsin, in a decree Tuesday, ordered Russian authorities unilaterally to demarcate the frontier with the Baltic state by the year-end. The decree accused Estonia of adopting a "negative attitude" to the issue and said the border must be clearly demarcated to protect Russia's political and economic interests. An Estonian Foreign Ministry statement said Russia's decision violated the principles of the UN as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Under Yeltsin's decree, before conclusion of a bilateral agreement, the frontier would be the one that existed when Russia recognized Estonia's sovereignty in August 1991. But Estonia also claims the border region of Pechory (which it calls Petseri) by its southeastern frontier and a slice of land east of the Narva River. Russia refuses to entertain discussion about the Pechory. Russia and Estonia are already at odds over Moscow's delay in pulling out 2,500 troops still in Estonia. Tallinn wants the Russian troops out by Aug. 31 but Moscow has linked the withdrawal with treatment of Estonia's 40 percent Russian minority.