The Estonian government has adopted a doctrine of keeping the internal policies of the state separate from its external policies. That makes it impossible for its citizens, like myself, to find out how its foreign service portrays Estonia’s legalistic problems with the Russian Federation to the outside world.
For this reason, I find it most frustrating being unable to peek into the arguments that our foreign service uses to protect Estonia and its citizens (especially its war-veterans) against Russian charges. News-evidence shows, that they use lame arguments to protect the reputation of the state of Estonia and avoid altogether responding to the accusations against the Estonian war-veterans.
Here are two excerpts (translation UR) taken from an (Estonian language) article “Vene esindaja ÜROs ässitab natsikütte” (DELFI, Nov.18., 2006)
/.../ The permanent member of Russia in UN Vitali Tšurkin offered hope that, in will be noticed in the EU and USA how memorial-rites for Waffen-SS combatants take place in Estonia and Latvia./.../
/.../ Russia started the resolution deploring the glorification of Nazism. 107 nations voted YES to this resolution, USA voted NO and the EU members stayed neutral on this issue./.../
Why did the EU members not follow the example of the United States by voting NO to the resolution? More importantly, why did the Estonian delegation to the conference not respond to this “little Nazi country” accusation of Tšurkin’s more forthrightly instead of merely declaring this dumb-witted propaganda war against Russia?
Weren’t Tšurkin’s words clear enough that he was pointing his accusing finger straight at the Estonian war-veterans who had sworn to fight only against the bolševiks (Stalin’s Red Army)? Didn’t the rulers of Estonia, since the firmhanded “anti-Nazi” president Arnold Rüütel came to power, have not enough evidence to present to satisfy Tšurkin - in words and deeds, of vilification of afore-mentioned war-veterans and physical violence used against at least one of their memorial markers?
Evidently, the answers to these questions are hidden in envelopes marked “state secret“. For example, why were (and why are still) the memorials which displayed only the symbol of the heart of the Cross of Freedom (the Estonian War of Independence medal of valor) and the veterans’ flags carrying this symbol targeted for scorn by the rulers of Estonia? Again, why did these Estonian diplomats not ask Tšurkin to name just one “Nazi memorial rite” that had been performed, and where? This after a deplorable desecration by the Estonian rulers took place, of a soldiers’ memorial that had been consecrated by ordained clergy.
These rulers of the post-communist country of Estonia evidently have not come to realize, that any country declaring itself independent from its former oppressor can’t just sit down halfway to the goalposts and say, “we have done it”. That was not the way it was done in America in 1776, in Estonia neither in 1918, nor even in 1944. You can either win or lose honorably, but when you just quit, no friend or foe can ever again respect you.
As I said above, the rulers of Estonia keep their political motives behind the cloud of secrecy. Evidently, they thought that Russia is envious of us because we are so “small and gumptious”. That is why our diplomats may have thought it best to start a war of propaganda against them.
Why did the EU members not support us, like the USA did, against Tšurkin’s “little Nazi country” accusation against Estonia? That’s a tough question, which should have troubled our diplomats. My guess is that the EU members may not have respected us enough because we had proven to be quitters. I sent a letter to EU Council asking concerning this matter. They promised to send me an answer, which I hope to receive soon.
When will Estonia ever learn that you cannot let a nation be run forever by the politicians who rule by emotions, which are in conflict with rational thinking? Politics in Estonia can still shown to be dominated by 40 years (1950 -1990) teaching in the spirit of Stalinism in the schools of Estonia. Up to the time when the armed resistance against terror of Stalinism was smothered (approx.1953), political emotions in Estonia were in harmony with rational thinking. Demonizing the Estonian war-veterans who had sworn to fight only the bolševiks (Stalin’s Red Army), should convince anybody which side of the emotional divide our rulers are sailing now.
Another question to puzzle over. Why is Estonia still hesitant to declare itself legal successor country to the pre-war Republic of Estonia? I can see nothing but good in remedying the ambiguous and knotty minority relations in our country. Packing these relations into an orderly legal framework in which everybody can feel comfortable and safe like all the minorities did in our pre-war republic. The most needed correction is to state in unmistakable words in our constitution that the state-initiated migration of Russian speaking citizens of the USSR to colonize the 1/3 of the occupied Estonian territory was illegal and could never be considered as a legal immigration into the Republic of Estonia. This modification in our constitution would also take wind out of the Russian legal arguments that Estonian SSR was a legal successor state to the pre-war Estonia and that the USSR liberated Estonia in 1940 and 1944.
Emotions conflicting with rational thinking in Estonian politics