Eesti in brief - 2004-08-26

  • 2004-08-26
Aldona Z. Wos , the new U.S. ambassador to Estonia, arrived in Tallinn on Aug. 23. Prior to coming to Estonia, the 49-year-old ambassador worked as a doctor in New York, was involved in an educational program about Poland's experience in WWII.

President Vladimir Putin has invited his Estonian counterpart Arnold Ruutel, as well as Latvia's Vaira Vike-Freiberga and Lithuania's Valdas Adamkus and many other head of state in Europe, to next year's May 9 celebrations in Moscow dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Russia's victory over Nazi Germany. Ruutel's chancellery stated that it was too early to confirm whether Ruutel would accept the invitation, a response that his Baltic colleagues reiterated as well.

Vegetable crops have suffered heavily in the northern part of the country, as extensive rainfalls have kept flooding the fields throughout the summer. The owner of the Sagake farm in the southern Viljandi county, Jaan Sild, said the price of potatoes was set to rise as farmers would have to spend more money on preservation. Ville Pak, sales manager of the Kadarbiku farm near Tallinn, said the carrot and cabbage crops were falling below the level of previous years.

Kurdish Library House (SARA), a Kurdish cultural organization in Sweden, has issued an appeal for the extradition of alleged Kurdish militant Hemo Heybett Amedsson from Estonia, where he is in custody. Amedsson is a Kurd who has been a Swedish citizen for 23 years, the statement issued by SARA said. He was a human rights activist and participated in the struggle for cultural and national rights of Kurdish people until 1980, when the Turkish military took power in a coup, it said.

The body of a 20-year-old male, suspected of robbery in Tallinn, was recovered from a park pond in the Old Town on Aug. 20. The police received numerous reports on Aug. 19 about two men, armed with a knife, who robbed passers-by next to the Schnelli pond. While police were chasing the suspects they jumped into the pond. One man escaped to the opposite shore while the other drowned.

Prime Minister Juhan Parts said it was vital to build a new bridge across the river bordering Narva and Russia's Ivangorod in the long run. It's not a question any more," Parts said on Aug. 24. "It's only a matter of time," he said, adding that the new bridge could be ready in four to six years. The existing Soviet-era bridge has become a bottleneck for transit, and according to some Russian experts the increased traffic has led to such intensive wear-and-tear that the present bridge can only be used for an estimated five more years. Parts spoke in favor of building the new bridge between Estonia and Russia outside Narva, while Mayor Tarmo Tammiste said he considered it important from the point of view of the city's development that the larger bridge would be built within the city limits.