A civic initiative in the town of Ivangorod, Leningrad Oblast, has collected more than sufficient signatures (more than one tenth of the town’s registered voters) to call a referendum for the town’s return to Estonia. Ivangorod is in fact the former Estonian town of Jaanilinn, which was taken from Estonia after the Soviet occupation and annexed to the Russian Federation. The town’s population is totally Russian now. The referendum petition expresses exasperation with economic and social conditions in the town.
The document with the signatures was forwarded to Russian President Boris Yeltsin last week and has since been reported in the Russian press. Estonia, for her part, strictly respects the post-1945 border, even though Russia refuses to sign the border agreement which includes that Estonian concession. Tallinn is not about to respond to the Ivangorod citizens’ initiative. (ETA, Flux, Russian agencies, July 15 and 16)
SHUMEIKO CALLS FOR ELEVATING KALININGRAD REGION TO RUSSIAN BALTIC REPUBLIC.