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Eesti in brief - 2012-11-02

Oct 31, 2012

Russian aviation company Aeroflot started flying the Tallinn-Moscow route after a gap of 16 years on Sunday; Tallinn Airport hopes to increase the number of passengers traveling between the two capitals to 100,000 a year, reports Public Broadcasting. Estonian Air and UTair also fly on the Tallinn-Moscow route. Tallinn Airport board member Erik Sakkov said that Aeroflot won’t take away passengers from existing flights but should increase the market so that next year there would be more than 100,000 passengers on the route. Sakkov said that the Aeroflot flight is not meant just to bring Russian tourists to Estonia, but could offer Finnair competition regarding Asian flights, and Areolflot’s network also reaches Africa and North America. Tallinn Airport has a third more flights this winter than last year and hopes to handle 2.2 million passengers this year.

On Oct. 26 at the Helsinki Book Fair Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in a discussion on opportunities for small countries to influence developments in the European Union and the world in general, reports LETA. Paet participated in the discussion together with Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb, President of the Bank of Finland Erkki Liikanen, and Estonian Ambassador to the European Union Matti Maasikas. Foreign Minister Paet stated that in today’s world it no longer makes a difference whether a country is large or small; what matters is whether countries know how to and wish to cooperate with one another. “For example, looking at Europe’s future, the most important thing is the European Union knowing how to be unified in making and implementing decisions. Cooperation is vital if the European Union wants to realize its advantages for economic growth and development and continue to be the greatest economic space in the world,” Paet noted.

A meeting of the Estonian Nature Foundation (ENF) and representatives of Nord Stream took place in Tallinn on Monday in connection with the intention of the latter to build more gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea, reports Postimees Online. At the meeting, Nord Stream could not answer several important questions about the effects of the existing and planned gas pipelines on the environment of the Baltic Sea, ENF said. “The state of the Baltic Sea is critical and additional endangering of it is not acceptable,” ENF sea environment and nature protection expert Alex Lotman said. He added that Nord Stream has not been able to show, despite the environmental studies conducted so far, how much pollution and dangerous chemicals are really released into the Baltic Sea from the sediment at the bottom of the sea. ENF is of the position that building new gas pipelines contradicts the need to curb global climate problems, for which consumption of fossil fuels has to be reduced, it believes.

Estonia’s national opera house will celebrate its 100th jubilee in 2013, says the Tallinn Tourism Board. To mark the upcoming centenary, local confectionery maker Kalev presented the opera with a miniature model of the 20th century opera building, made of marzipan. Opera, ballet and concert visitors can admire the miniature opera house model in the theater’s foyer. The occasion also marks a three year sponsorship deal.

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