Russia regards as illegal the deportation of Russian military pensioners from Estonia

Russia underscores the illegality of deportation of Russian military pensioners from Estonia.

As a sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti, Estonia does not recognise as military pensioners the 115 Russian citizens who were included into an additional list to the Russian-Estonian agreement of 1994 on social guarantees to the pensioners of the Armed Forces of Russia in the territory of Estonia.

In the opinion of Moscow, such actions are the gross violation of this document. This agreement, said the source, was concluded within the framework of the package agreements which included also the agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia.

When ratifying the agreement the Estonian parliament made a reservation in accordance with which only those persons who were discharged from the Armed Forces till 1994 have to be regarded as military pensioners. However, the Russian side has not been officially notified of this reservation either in the note on ratification or in the instruments of ratification.

"In accordance with the norms of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Russian side stated that it considered the agreement as having come into force without any exclusions and references," explained the source.

Deportation from Estonia threatens not only 115 military pensioners included into the additional list but also members of their families.

Apart from that, Tallinn has raised the question of also deporting those military pensioners who have received certificates in 1994 for receiving housing in Russia. "A number of military pensioners have really received such certificates in the context of the Russian-American assistance programme, but they made commitments to leave Estonia to the American Fund, not to the Estonian government," underscored the source. And the American side says that it does not insist on deporting these people from Estonia.

In 1999, Estonia adopted amendments to the law on foreigners under which the persons who received such certificates were denied of the right to receive residential permits. "However, the law cannot be retroactive and for this reason it cannot concern the people who took the decision to receive certificates long before its coming into force," believes the source.

About forty people received housing certificates. The Estonian authorities have already started the process of deportation against one of them - N. Mikolenko.

"Russia insists only on the fulfillment of the generally recognised international norms in the sphere of human rights," underscored the source. "If they are observed with regard to our compatriots we shall not make any additional claims."

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Author`s name Editorial Team