August 29, 2019

Erkki Bahovski in Maaleht: Withdrawal of Russian Troops from Estonia 25 Years Ago

Erkki Bahovski, editor-in-chief of ICDS Diplomaatia magazine, analysed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia 25 years ago, and reminded that Russia would have got excellent pretext to keep her troops in Estonia if some events in 1993 would have gone another way.

Bahovski pointed out that the withdrawal had also ramifications on Estonian domestic politics, not only foreign policy as mentioned so far.

Namely, in 1993 Narva and Sillamäe in North-East Estonia had an autonomy referendum and it was feared that this may repeat Transnistria scenario. In addition, Estonia also witnessed so-called Pullapää crisis when one military unit refused to take orders from military command and the possibility of civil war was in the air. Nevertheless, Estonia managed to solve these crises and to show that there is no need to keep Russian troops in Estonia.

„And, of course, the withdrawal of Russian troops opened Estonia’s way to the EU and NATO. The withdrawal was also a symbolic sign of the end of WWII in Estonia,“ Bahovski wrote.

Read the full opinion article in Estonian in Maaleht.