Estonian farms seek ?independence?

Rusiko Amirejibi-Mullen r.amirejibi-mullen at
Thu Sep 11 11:33:00 UTC 2008

Estonian farms seek ?independence?
Thursday, 11th September 2008. 11:01am

By: Marcus Papadopoulos.

Following on from the example set by Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two  
farms in the north-east of Estonia have joined together to form the  
?Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic? and are seeking Russia?s  
recognition as an independent state.

The founder of this self-proclaimed republic, Andres Tamm, stated that  
his people ?no longer want to live in bourgeois Estonia, where nobody  
cares about the common people?with raging unemployment and corruption,  
and where everything depends on NATO and the Americans.?

It is believed that the Communist Party of the Russian Federation  
(formerly the once all-powerful Communist Party of the Soviet Union)  
is assisting the efforts of the ?republic?. The latter is now putting  
together a friendship treaty with Russia, and this is expected to be  
forwarded to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev within a short period  
of time.

The ?republic? has established a national ?Soviet government? with its  
own police force to patrol and defend its already demarcated border.  
While prima facie this development appears to be insignificant,  
perhaps even laughable, there may be some cause for concern for the  
Estonian Government stemming from it.

Estonia, previously part of the former USSR and now a member of both  
the EU and NATO, is home to 344,000 ethnic Russians (a quarter of the  
Estonian population), many of whom live in the north-east of the  
country. Since having gained independence from Moscow in 1991, the  
Estonian government has pursued a policy of discrimination against its  
Russian minority, including denying citizenship to ethnic Russians.

Russia?s war with Georgia this summer heralded the beginning of the  
forging of a new world order by Moscow, with the official objective of  
defending its national interests and protecting Russian citizens. The  
Kremlin was obliged by the Russian constitution to employ its military  
muscle in South Ossetia following the Georgian invasion in order to  
defend the population there, where 90 per cent hold Russian passports.

And following the victorious Russian military campaign against the  
Georgians and Moscow subsequently recognising South Ossetia and  
Georgia?s other secessionist region of Abkhazia as independent states,  
President Medvedev publicly vowed that Russia will from now on use  
force to protect its citizens outside of its borders.

Estonia is potentially vulnerable to the new resurgent Russian state,  
which maintains poor relations with Moscow as a result of factors  
ranging from its treatment of its Russian minority to Tallinn?s  
staunch support of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The  
possibility of Russia handing out passports to ethnic Russians in  
Estonia cannot be discounted. This would echo Russian actions in the  
early 1990s when the Kremlin distributed passports to the populations  
of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (it is rumoured that Moscow has already  
given Russian passports to 100,000 residents of the Crimea, Ukraine).

The first possible flashpoint could involve the Estonian city of Narva  
(in the county of Ida-Viru) where the population is 86 per cent  
Russian (93 per cent Russian-speaking) and which is geographically  
located on the border with Russia. Should the residents of Narva be  
granted Russian citizenship, it would not be difficult for the Kremlin  
and the population of this city to engineer a violent confrontation  
with the authorities in Tallinn, which could result in the Russian  
army being deployed across the border in accordance with the  
constitution of the Russian Federation.

The case of the two Estonian farms which proclaimed a ?Soviet  
republic? could mark the beginning of a new front in Moscow?s quest to  
reassert itself on the international arena.

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