Estonia: Next To Break from the Pack?

Estonia is on a more cautious collision course with Moscow, but for Mikhail Gorbachev, the gauntlet has been thrown down

Mikhail Gorbachev does not like waiting. After trying several times to reach Estonian President Arnold Ruutel by telephone last week, he was in no mood for small talk when he finally got through late Tuesday evening. The Soviet President told Ruutel that he had "lost his temper" over the Estonian parliament's decision two weeks ago that declared "the state supremacy of the Soviet Union to be illegal" in the republic. What exactly did that mean? Gorbachev demanded. If the Estonians no longer recognized the Soviet constitution, what law was operating?

Ruutel had a ready response: Estonian law. Displeased, Gorbachev called the...

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