The Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariik), is a country on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. The territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea covering a total area of 45,227 square Kilometers.
Estonia first gained independence in 1920 after a short war of independence, this lead to the Treaty of Tartu which established it’s borders with its neighbours, especially Russia. The terms of the treaty stated that Russia renounced in perpetuity all rights to the territory of Estonia. The agreed frontier corresponded roughly with the position of the front line at the cessation of hostilities. In particular, Estonia retained a strategic strip to the east of the Narva river (Narvataguse) and Setumaa in the southeast, areas which were lost in early 1945.
Estonia is an advanced economy with a parliamentary democracy and established elements of a liberal democracy. Estonia is a member of several international organisations: the European Union, the Eurozone, OECD, the Schengen Area, NATO, and from 2020, the United Nations Security Council.
Estonia – Latvia Border: This border, 339km in length, begins in the east at the tripoint between the towns of Misso (Estonia), Pededze (Latvia) and Palkino (Russia). The border runs mostly from east to west. It crosses the town of Valga-Valka and ends at the coast by the Baltic Sea between the villages of Ainaži (Latvia) and Ikla (Estonia). Latvia gained independence in 1918, two years before neighbouring Estonia. In 1920, when Estonia gained independence in turn, the border between the two countries was established. The position of the border was recognised by the representatives of the two countries, based upon the ethnicity of the inhabitant populations. In 1940, the two countries were placed under military occupation and annexed by the USSR, resulting in the disappearance of the border. During this period, the USSR appropriated the towns of Pechory and Abrene (Latvia). Because of this, when the two countries regained their independence in 1991, the re-established border was 32km shorter. Cross border collaboration is well established.
Estonia – Russia Border: At a length of 294 km, the border between Russia and Estonia begins in the Gulf of Finland. Oriented towards the south, it follows the river Narva and runs alongside Lake Peipsi before coming to an end at the tripoint formed by the Latvian, Russian and Estonian borders. The Treaty of Tartu established the border between the 2 countries. However, with the annexation of Estonia in 1940 the border in effect disappeared. Petseri county and the territory of Ivangorod passed under the control of the USSR.
In 1991, the fall of the USSR enabled Estonia to regain its independence. The border was at this point slightly modified as Russia has kept the annexed territories, notably at the southern end of the border. The final border agreement was made in 1996, although tensions still remain and have prevented an adjustment of the border in 2005 to remove anomalies such as the Saatse Boot. Cross border collaboration is occurring in the Narva area.
Estonian Registration Plates
- Estonian Border Guard Marking the Border https://www.politsei.ee/en/marking-of-border
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