Tartu Peace Treaty

​Peace treaty concluded between Estonia and Soviet Russia on 2 February 1920, ending the War of Independence

The wish to end the War of Independence in Estonia was evident by the summer of 1919, but the government had to consider the countries of the Entente and its neighbours, who did not approve of peace talks with the Bolsheviks. The breakthrough was brought about by the failed attack of the White Russian North-western Army in autumn 1919. This affected the Estonian military-political situation of Estonia and changed the attitude of the Western countries. Peace talks in Tartu started on 5 December 1919. The Estonian delegation was headed by Jaan Poska, and the Russian by Leonid Krassin (later Adolf Joffe). The main obstacles were differences on the border question – the Bolsheviks demanded Setumaa and the eastern part of Virumaa – and increased Russian military pressure, in the hope of securing a better position at the talks. An armistice was achieved on 31 December 1919 and the final peace treaty was signed on 2 February 1920. In the treaty, Russia recognised Estonian independence; all areas settled by Estonians were accepted as part of Estonia (including Setumaa and Narva). Russia gave up its possessions in the Republic of Estonia, agreed to return the treasures evacuated from Estonia, and ceded 15 million gold roubles to Estonia. The two countries established diplomatic relations.


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