Eesti in brief - 2008-04-09

  • 2008-04-09
Tallink has a new ferry 's Superstar. The ship will operate between Tallinn and Helsinki beginning April 21. Superstar has a speed of 27.5 knots per hour, allowing passengers to get from one Finno-Ugric capital to the other in less than two hours. The ship boasts 186 cabins and 736 beds and can carry up to 2,080 passengers. Superstar was ordered in 2005. Its "godmother" is Kaia Kanepi, Estonia's renowned female tenor. With Superstar in the lineup, there will now be 10 fast-boat trips daily between the two capitals.

Former President Arnold Ruutel was in Kazakhstan on a visit, where he discussed development of bilateral economic relations with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and suggested that Kazakh businessmen use Estonia as a country of transit. Ruutel, who was last in the Central Asian country in 2004, told reporters that he believes Kazakh businessmen are interested in shipping oil, grain, metal and other goods through Estonia, according to the Kazinform news agency. "Estonia has modern ports and we can offer transit services to Kazakhstan," Ruutel was quoted as saying. He also said Estonian construction companies are interested in projects in the Kazakh capital Astana.

The Defense and Interior ministers are about to sign an agreement on joint development of search and rescue activities. The accord, to be inked by Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo and Interior Minister Juri Pihl, deals mainly with a joint technical base for maintaining helicopters. The agreement also provides for creating uniform service conditions for Air Force personnel, the Border Guard aviation group, training and advanced training of pilots and joint operational command. In the longer term, it is planned to develop a tactical transport and search and rescue system, a joint statement from the ministries said. The idea of uniting the Border Guard's aviation group with the Air Force has been under discussion for several years, but the plan was opposed by the Interior Ministry.