Eesti in brief - 2006-01-18

  • 2006-01-18
The People's Union leader Villu Reiljan said the party was ready to nominate Arnold Ruutel to run for a second five-year term as president in the elections scheduled for this fall. "We believe that Ruutel has done a very good job as Estonian president," he was quoted as saying. Reiljan said that he was in contact with the president on this specific matter, adding that of course Arnold Ruutel has to consult with his family and make up his mind. Eero Raun, spokesman for the 77-year-old Ruutel, said the president has stressed on repeated occasions that he is not in a hurry to make a decision.

Russia wants new talks with Estonia over the two countries' land and sea borders, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. "We are ready to restart talks on condition that we substantially begin from an empty page, and there is no linking to the agreements in principle that we agreed with Estonia," Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. The minister explained that Estonia added unacceptable statements to the ratification act of the border treaty, according to Moscow, which resulted in Russia withdrawing its signature from the treaty. Estonia and Russia signed the border treaties on May 18, and Parliament ratified them on June 20. Two days later President Arnold Ruutel promulgated the ratification act.

Police launched an investigation to find the author of a letter implicating that the chief of the central criminal police's life was in danger. The letter came after a probe into the murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl. One report held that there was a live cartridge of the TT handgun in the envelope and a hand-written letter consisting of just a few words including the name of Elmar Vaher, director of the police special investigations unit, "laip" (Estonian for "dead body") and "Kreutzwaldi." The anonymous letter arrived at police headquarters in Tallinn on Jan. 4.

A total of 113 people were murdered in 2005, and most of the homicides were solved, police said. Police recorded 90 manslaughters and 23 murders during the year. In addition, 12 attempted manslaughters and eight attempted murders were recorded.

A sauna fire in Parnu took the lives of three young people last weekend. At 2:36 a.m. on Jan. 15, the Rescue Board received a report about a fire in a bar sauna. Firemen brought out four victims while putting out the fire. Two young men, one born in 1985 and the other in 1986, and a girl born in 1990 were killed in the accident.