Estonia will keep some of the abandoned Soviet-era military sites on its territory as historical legacy and potentially as tourist attractions, the Estonian television reported.
Culture experts discussed on Tuesday during a meeting at the Museum of Estonian Architecture the creation of a database categorizing the hundreds of ex-Soviet military installations in order to determine their historical value and importance as potential tourism venues.
“There are opinions that all traces of the hateful Soviet legacy in Estonia must be wiped out. However, we must widen our historical vision,” Leele Välja, the director of the museum said. “We cannot keep silent about these periods or pretend they never existed.”
The participants of the meeting also agreed that some of the facilities, especially the abandoned missile bases and storages for nuclear warheads could become ‘magnets’ for tourists after repairs. The controversy over the post-World War II period when Estonia was part of the Soviet Union remains a sore point in Russian-Estonian relations.
The Estonian authorities claim that their country was occupied by the Soviet Union along with Latvia and Lithuania between 1945 and 1991, while the Russian government and its state officials insist that incorporation of the Baltic states was in accordance with international law and gained de jure recognition by the agreements made in the Yalta and Potsdam conferences and by the Helsinki Accords.