TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at a government press conference on Thursday that the government made a decision in principle to allocate three million euros to Safety Investigation Bureau for the investigation of the Estonia ferry wreck with submarine robots.
The investigation will be carried out in cooperation with the Finnish and Swedish safety investigation centers, but only Estonia and Sweden will fund the research in equal amounts, as Finland had fewer victims and therefore less interest in contributing to the investigation, Kallas said.
The prime minister acknowledged that a long time has passed since the Estonia ferry disaster and expressed doubts as to whether it is possible to find out exactly what happened through investigation. "We will definitely receive answers about the situation concerning the hull, but I do not know whether we will find out the truth for good," Kallas said.
The precondition for conducting the investigation is changes in both Finnish and Swedish laws. Kallas said that underwater surveys will likely not start before the summer. "All these preparations must be completed by then," she added.
In order to find a suitable legal framework for the underwater surveys, the Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government Office to continue consultations with the Swedish and Finnish authorities, government spokespeople said.
According to the government, the Cabinet also confirmed with a decision on Thursday that the further investigation of the new circumstances of the sinking of the ferry Estonia must be carried out in a manner that is reliable, transparent and inclusive of the representative organizations of the next-of-kin of the victims.