The Right Honourable Stephen Harper P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Canadians of Estonian heritage are very concerned about developments in Russian-Estonian relations. Recent statements of Russian Federation government officials are meant to intimidate a sovereign state and could lead to consequences which may destabilize the Baltic region.
As you are aware Estonia has recently moved a post-war Soviet monument, which ostensibly was to commemorate fallen Soviet soldiers but was used as a rallying place for anti-Estonian extremists. The placement of the monument in a cemetery, amidst other graves of Soviet military, including a memorial to the Soviet Unknown Soldier, makes the new location very appropriate.
The Russian Federation has been urging and agitating extremists in Estonia to protest against the move. They have been publicly claiming that Estonia will destroy the monument. In short the Russian Federation is quite openly helping to organize protests which recently resulted to vandalism and destruction of property.
Russian spokesmen, both in parliament and the administration have in turn called for a boycott of Estonian goods, economic sanctions, severance of diplomatic relations, even armed intervention if Estonia moved the monument. This in turn has again encouraged extremists in Estonia to violence.
Many European states and leaders have expressed their support of Estonia and stated that Russian blatant involvement in the internal affairs of Estonia is not only unacceptable but also a detriment to the continuation of normal relations within Europe and elsewhere.
Canada has always been supportive of Estonia’s independence, economic well being and its evolving position as a contributor towards international stability and peace. The Estonian Central Council in Canada, representing Canadians of Estonian background urges the Government of Canada to publicly state its position on this issue.
President, Estonian Central Council in Canada,
Open Letter (11)