Estonia Statue Crisis
Kuumad uudised 04 May 2007  EWR
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Estonia Statue Crisis
Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter, United States Representative United States House of Representatives
May 3, 2007

Mister/Madam Speaker, I rise to defend the sovereignty and national dignity of our friend and ally Estonia; condemn Russia’s unwarranted intrusions against these free people; and affirm our commitment to America and Estonia’s common cause of human freedom.

After a long, illegal, and unjust Soviet occupation, Estonia now rightly and proudly stands by our side in the ranks of free nations. Nobly and selflessly, Estonia is steadfast in its defense of civilization from our barbaric enemies, and has championed the cause of human freedom throughout our world. Disturbingly, last week this free people’s very national sovereignty was threatened.

In what should come as no surprise to Americans, whose own Founding generation gained their independence from an imperial power, Estonia relocated an aging statute of a Soviet-era soldier from a central location
in Tallinn to the city’s Garrison Cemetery. Obstinately refusing to recognize Estonia’s patent right to do so, or the obvious irony in the statue’s new location, Russia used this routine act of municipal administration by the City of Tallinn to engage in a coordinated attempt to
interfere in Estonia’s internal affairs.

Using state-controlled TV broadcasts into Estonia, the former Soviet Union used its state controlled television broadcasts to spew propaganda into Estonia. This provocative Russian propaganda falsely claimed Estonia’s relocation of the insulting Soviet statue constituted an international crisis. Russia did so to agitate and, thereby, incite the vandalism and
violence which occurred in Tallin from April 26th through 29th. Prior to these outbreaks of violence, Russian Embassy officials were observed meeting with the organizers of radical pro-Russia fringe groups; and, while
Russian-speaking mobs roamed Tallinn’s streets, Estonia’s government web servers came under cyber attack, the cause of which was later traced to IP
addresses located in Moscow and owned by the Russian Presidential Administration. So too, there is a new report Russia has conveniently discovered a need to repair its rail links entering Estonia and, as a result, is suspending oil shipments to Estonia. Further, Russia continues to flout the Vienna Convention by allowing Russian nationalist extremists to surround and vandalize Estonia’s Embassy in Moscow.

Mr. Speaker, when one weighs this inexcusable incident along with Russia’s recent refusal to adhere to the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, its recent arrest of Russian democracy advocates, and its refusal to honor past agreements to withdraw its military forces from countries, such as Moldova, one is compelled to question a former-KGB lieutenant colonel’s commitment to democracy; and whether the red bear is awakening from its hibernation to once more feast upon the free peoples of eastern Europe and the world.

Mister/Madame Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join in a righteous defense of Estonia’s sovereignty; a condemnation of Russia’s belligerent intrusions
into this democratic nation’s internal affairs; and affirm, in the tradition of American Presidents from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, we will stand united against tyranny with our Estonian brothers and sisters as one free people.


As Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, I should like to express my full solidarity with Estonia, a Member State of the European Union, at this difficult time. I am seriously concerned by the degradation of relations between Estonia and the Russian Federation.

The attacks targeted to Estonia are the attacks targeted to the EU as a whole.

The unprovoked wide-scale, multileveled, anti-Estonian attacks by the Russian authorities, including several examples of interference into the internal affairs of Estonia (such as the statements by the Duma delegation
to Estonia calling for the resignation of the democratically elected Estonian Government) are inadmissible and contrary to the rules of civilised
interstate relations. They pose a risk to seriously undermine the EU-Russia relations.

The Government of Estonia has my full support in guaranteeing security and public order in the country. The decision taken by the democratic government
of the sovereign country should be respected.

Estonia as an independent Member State of the EU and NATO has sovereign right to assess its recent tragic past, which includes 4 years of Nazi occupation and terror, as well as 48 years of occupation and terror by the Soviet Union. Since 1983, the European Parliament has consequently condemned the illegal incorporation and occupation of the Baltic States in the Soviet
Union.

I call on the Russian authorities to fulfil its international obligations according to the Vienna Convention and guarantee the protection of the EU Member States Embassies in Moscow and refrain from any interference in internal affairs in Estonia.

Jacek Saryusz-Wolski
 
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