Forty-one percent of Estonia's residents are in favor of the planned introduction of the euro, while 54 percent are against, a November survey found. Supporters of the common currency prevail among respondents with higher education, 61 percent of whom are in favor, while respondents with higher-than-average income and those younger than 35 were divided roughly, with 48 percent favoring the switch to the euro in both groups. Support for the euro was lowest among ethnic Russians and people aged over 51.
President Arnold Ruutel said Estonia was satisfied with progress made by Ukraine and that it backs the strengthening of Ukraine's relations with the European Union. "We are always ready to support your reforms, to such an extent and in such a way that our experience is necessary and applicable," Ruutel said at a forum. "It is essential that we treat Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia and even Belarus as independent states, respecting their foreign policy choices, and not look at them through the prism of Russia's interests," he said.
The EU's External Affairs Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner (photo), said the Estonian-Russian border treaties require time and delicacy in order to be resolved. "I believe this is a topic which requires some time, and maybe also a bit of confidentiality and sense of delicacy," the commissioner said in her remarks to the daily Eesti Paevaleht. Ferrero-Waldner said she had discussed the topic during the last EU-Russia summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy Sergei Yastrzhembsky and had also talked about it with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, adding that she saw no new developments on the treaties for the time being. Ferrero-Waldner said the topic was first and foremost a bilateral issue between Estonia and Latvia on the one hand and Russia on the other.
A Russian An-12 aircraft illegally entered Estonian airspace at 12:00 p.m. on Dec. 6. The transport plane, flying in the direction of Kaliningad, entered the Baltic state's airspace near Vaindloo Island at 1.8 nautical miles. The jet flew in the illegal zone for about one minute, defense force headquarters reported. The Estonian Air Sovereignty Center at Amari reported the incident. The Russian aircraft had a flight plan, and its transponder was transmitting information about the flight.