6th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of Estonia

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • Estonia, Communist Party of Estonia 6th IMCWP En Europe Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, National Minorities in
the Estonian Republic after Estonia Joined the EU and the
From: SolidNet, Friday, October 22, 2004

National Minorities in the Estonian Republic after Estonia
Joined the EU and the NATO

The Estonian Membership in the European union has not
solved numerous problems related to the rights of Russian
speaking population of Estonia but has brought into life
many other problematic issues. There are such questions as
alienism without citizenship for many residents (the ones
of the alien status), language based discrimination,
limited possibilities to get education in mother tongue,
the increase of neo- Nazism that all together cause growing
concern about the future pf the country and its people. The
Estonian authorities do not show any real interest in the
solution of these problems but rather try to convince
international organizations that there are no problems

At the same time it is obvious that the situation when
every fifth resident of the country does not have any
citizenship can hardly be qualified simply by the word
"problem" as this is a situation of a mass character. Such
a situation has a potential danger for a state
organization, especially in Estonia where it was a result
of intended actions. In 1992 the Supreme Soviet of the
Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic for the first time in
the international law practice made an out-court decision
to deprive the third part of its population of civil
rights. To make the Law work there was developed and
adopted the principle of the State language knowledge as a
condition to apply for the citizenship.

Today in Estonia there is an acute problem related to the
position of war-pensioners. People who fought against
fascism during the Second World Was are now considered to
be the same as state enemies. There were refused both to
get Estonian citizenship and to enjoy all their allowances
and graces. The most striking if not shocking fact is that
Estonian citizenship and to enjoy all their allowances and
graces. There were striking if not shocking fact is that
Estonian soldiers who fought on the SS side have now the
status of honored citizens and are national heroes.

There are held regular meetings of Estonian veterans of
20th Division of Waffen SS in Estonia, in which even
Parliament deputes participate. Recently there gas been one
more the second- attempt to erect a monument in the honor
of SS veterans. The Estonian Government being under
pressure form its European partners was forced to take a
decision to dismount the monument. But it led to mass
destruction and vandalism of monuments built to honor
soviet soldiers who fought for the freedom of Estonia from

Tallinn seems to be the only European city where goods with
nazi symbols are available for sale in the very center of
the city. All these facts have not been politically
commented on and condemned by the authorities, whish
results in the spread of neo-nazism in Estonia.

The very question is whether it is fair that those people
who fought for the freedom of Europe from German Nazism are
now suffering from Estonian neo-nazism?

Every time when the issue of Russian-speaking population in
Estonia is considered, there is always the problem of the
state language to be under discussion. After the Estonian
Republic got its independence, Estonian was nominated as
the only official state language. Thus in the country where
there always had been two official languages in use, at
once it was forbidden to speak and to write in Russian.
What then to do with cultural heritage left behind after
the Soviet Union broke down? Is it really fair and that
easy to reject at once all achievements of Russian
literature, culture, science and technology only because
all these were written and created in Russian?

The problem of Russian language banning is a serious is a
serious one also due to the fact that even now practically
all residents of the country continue to speak and
communicate in Russian, i.e. they use Russian as means of
international communication. In spite of the fact that
there are request of the local authorities to introduce
Russian as the second language of official correspondence
in Narva, where 90% of population speak Russian, the state
authorities refuse it although there are ways to do it
legally in accordance with the Estonian Law.

At present there is one more serious problem in Estonia
related to the sphere of education as it is becoming more
and more difficult to preserve educational institutions of
every stage with Russian as the language of instruction
leads to the situation when the most talented and gifted
children are forced to start their education in Estonian in
order to have a chance in the future to get higher

It is worth mentioning that for the last ten years higher
educational institutions with Russian language instruction
have been put into the most difficult position. The reason
behind it is in the fact that there are corresponding state
requirements alongside with the reduction or even closure
down of state higher educational institutions where Russian
is the language of instruction. Besides, there are problems
connected with the technical and financial support to set
up their own material basis.

To sum up, it can be said that discrimination of Russian
speaking population, being legally supported by a series of
Laws, is the basis for further segregation of the society
in all spheres economical, social and educational.

The problem can be solved by giving legal status to the use
of Russian together with Estonian at least in the areas
where Russian speaking population live compactly. It can
be done effectively considering the fact that there are
many similar examples in European countries. This approach
could make the procedure of granting citizenship easier and
could let Russian speaking population get higher paid jobs
and might enrich the culture of the country.
It is possible to state that despite being a member of the
EU Estonia does not meet the requirements set forth by this
organization regarding the human rights and European
democratic values.

I would consider reasonable to make the following inquiries
to the European Parliament:
1. The alienism without citizenship in the Estonian
republic- the problem and solutions
2. Language, education, culture of national minorities in
Estonia the problem and solutions.
3. The escalation of national neo-nazism in the Estonian
Republic and ways to stop it