Documents of the 4th Seto Congress


In the three years that have passed since the previous congress, the majority of problems have not been solved for the Setos, but have grown considerably critical instead. It is a matter of regret that it appears to be beyond our powers to influence politicians who ignore the unity of Estonia.

In order to guarantee the preservation of the Seto people, Setos and the Estonian state must collaborate, whereas support by the international public is also necessary. Therefore the 4th Seto Congress declares the following.

To the Setos:

It is an obligation of every Seto to preserve and increase the mental strength of the Seto people. Let us be Estonians, but let us still remain also Setos like our forefathers. Setomaa has passed through hard times before. Let us all try to support and look after each other, so that we may live through this time of tribulation.

To the Estonian state:

The fate of Setos has been connected with Estonia from the moment when the Estonian state was born. The Setos want to be good subjects to the Estonian state, but they also want to preserve their native homes, the tongue of their forefathers, their customs, beliefs and their graves. The Setos expect the Estonian state to support and protect them in this respect. They expect the Estonian state to protect its citizens from humiliation and persecution, to save the Setos from being driven out of their homes, and save their homes from being sold off.

To Estonian politicians:

All of you are aware of the fact that Estonia is a small state who needs to be supported and protected by bigger ones, in order to preserve in critical times. But the ones yet smaller also deserve support and protection. Through Estonian history, there have repeatedly occurred times when bigger states have trampled upon us in their own interest. Do not trample upon those lesser than you in turn. Politicians of independent Estonia should be more noble and honourable.

To the international public:

Do not look for violations of human rights only in places where they are loudly proclaimed. The unfeigned grief and pain are silent. Come and help us find a resolution to the situation in Setomaa, so that this people with old and rich culture may preserve.

on the border between the Republic of Estonia
and the Russian Federation

We assert that politicians of the Republic of Estonia pursue to conclude the Estonian–Russian border treaty urgently, and they do so at the expense of the native home of the Seto people.

The 4th Seto Congress continues to rest upon the resolutions adopted by the 3rd Seto Congress, and protests against all attempts to alter the border between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation by ceding to Russia the native territory of Setos.

The Seto Congress regards all border alterations, enforced on the native territory of Setos without the approval of the Seto people and their representative body, the Seto Congress, to be a betrayal of the principles of the Republic of Estonia, and the Congress reserves the right to protest them.

Resolution on free movement

The Seto Congress is not satisfied with the situation where the native residents are not allowed to move freely in their native territory.

In the three years that have passed since the 3rd Seto Congress, the administrators of neither the Republic of Estonia nor the Russian Federation have managed to find an acceptable and humane solution to the problem.

The Seto Congress has sufficient reason to consider it to be a deliberate hostile act against the Setos, because efficient solutions have been found to similar problems in other regions.

Departing from that, the 4th Seto Congress appeals to the United Nations, to the European Union, to the Council of Europe and to the Nordic Council with a request to form an international committee for resolving the problem of free habitation and movement of the native residents in Setomaa (the Seto region), based on international agreements.


Political figures of the Republic of Estonia have openly declared their aspirations to join the European Union. The people of Estonia have not expressed their decision in this matter.

According to the statements made by Estonian politicians, the inevitable precondition for integrating within the European Union is the new border treaty with Russia. It is explained that such a demand was made by European politicians. Apparently you are unaware of the fact that the planned border departs the Seto people and their native home into two. The Setos are indigenous people and citizens of the Republic of Estonia by birth, whose native region lies in the Estonian–Russian borderline.

We are seeking a public and sincere reply to our question, whether the integration of Estonia within the European Union is possible only at the expense of ruining the Seto people and destroying their native home, or whether there might exist more ethical alternatives.

on joining the Unrepresented Nations and
Peoples Organization

The 4th Seto Congress passed the following resolutions:

1. To hand in an application to join the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

2. To authorise the Body of Elders to execute the required proceedings.