[JURIST] The Russian government approved a resolution Tuesday that authorized its formal withdrawal from the Russian-Estonian border agreements, the next-to-last phase that Russia must complete in order to satisfy international legal standards on the withdrawal from a treaty. The Russian-Estonian border treaties, agreed to in May 2005 [JURIST report], became a source of contention between the two nations following statements by Estonian officials during initial stages of the ratification process that negatively criticized Russian society [Russian MFA press release]. As a result, the Russian Foreign Ministry [official website] decided to exercise its rights under the Vienna Convention on the Law on Treaties (1969) [official text] to divest itself of its obligations [JURIST report] under the treaties, and withdraw as a signatory member. The only steps remaining for Russian officials to take are the submission of the proposal to Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website], who originally signed the treaties, and formal notification to Estonia of Russia's intent to not be a signatory member. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Russia [JURIST news archive]. Itar-Tass has local coverage.