U.S. – ESTONIA – RUSSIA : OPPORTUNITIES GAINED …. AND LOST

 

I am headed to Narva tomorrow for my second visit to the city and meetings with government , business, and academic leaders.  One of my meetings will be with the Mayor of  Narva and with the Estonian Border Police along the Russian frontier.  I have heard much about good and constructive relations between Estonian and Russian authorities along the border region and I had looked forward to meeting both Estonian and Russian border officials and the counterpart to the Mayor of Narva, the Mayor of the City of Ivangorod, on the Russian side of the river Narva.  Regrettably, both meeting requests were refused by the Russian side.  It would have been a unique opportunity to meet and discuss cooperation between a NATO ally and our Russian friends and very much in keeping with the sentiments of our recent joint celebration in Moscow commemorating the end of World War II, at which both U.S. troops and Estonian President Ilves participated.  I hope that on a future visit , word of the “reset” of relations between the U.S. and Russia will have reached Ivangorod and a meeting will still be possible.

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