Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is likely to visit Estonia this year, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. Estonian and Russian diplomats met in Moscow this week for a political consultation session where the Estonian side handed over the invitation. The Russian side remarked that it would be acceptable to sign the border treaty with Estonia on May 10 in Moscow.
Interior Minister Margus Leivo (photo) suffered a minor stroke on Jan. 14 while recovering from heart surgery performed earlier in the week in a Tallinn hospital. The minister's condition is stable, and he planned to return to work this week.
Cartoonist Edmund Valtman, the only Estonian ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, died in his home in the United States on Jan. 12. Valtman, born in Tallinn on May 31, 1914 and sold his first drawings to the Last Room children's magazine in 1931. In 1940, living in Viljandi, he worked as draftsman at the fourth Division headquarters and the Viljandi municipal and county governments. He worked as a cartoonist during WWII for the newspapers Eesti Sona and Maa Sona until 1944, when he left Estonia with his wife and lived in the Geislingen displaced persons' camp in Germany until 1949.
Four people died last week in a traffic accident on the Johvi-Tartu Road when an Opel Kadett hit a Scania truck that was traveling in the opposite direction. The four victims, aged 1 to 51, were all related. Police said the child was properly fastened in a safety seat, but its belt failed to withstand the collision's impact. The truck driver was not injured. Officials have assumed that bad weather conditions and poor visibility caused the accident.
The Estonian Skiing Federation hopes to postpone the annual World Cup event in Otepaa in an attempt to avoid Mother Nature's recently erratic behavior. Local organizers of this year's event had to cancel the second day of races due to warm and stormy weather and reportedly lost about 40,000 euros as a result. The federation would like to move the Otepaa event to late January or early February.
Estonian residents qualifying for social assistance could receive over 11,000 clothes and footwear items, as two international manufacturers have approved providing confiscated goods under their trademarks to the needy. Tax and Custom Board officials discovered several containers full of counterfeit clothes and footwear production last October. According to legislation, pirated clothes and footwear may be donated to social institutions if the trademarks are removed from the goods and the original producer approves such a move.
Three Southeast counties decided to accept the Polish Lublin district's proposal to conclude a cooperation agreement. The governors of the Polva, Valga and Voru counties ruled at a meeting this week to accept the proposal from Lublin, in eastern Poland, and identified spheres of cooperation, deputy head of Voru County's education and culture department, Peeter Laurson, said.