HOPING TO CHANGE MINDS: In spite of Germany's decision to pay compensation to Lithuanian citizens through a fund set up by Russia, Lithuania will continue to seek that compensation to Lithuanian citizens, forced to work as slave laborers in Germany during World War II, be made without mediators and hopes that its efforts will be taken into consideration. Lithuania's deputy Foreign Minister Oskaras Jusys presented Lithuania's position on the issue to the German ambassador, Detloff von Berg on Aug. 18, asking him to present it to his government. It is believed that damage caused by the Nazi occupation could reach several hundreds of millions of US dollars.
ADMITTED KILLING FOUR: Senukai supermarket security guard, Vladimir Vladimirov, arrested last week, has confessed to the police that he killed his four colleagues a week ago, a police department spokesperson reported Aug. 18. On Aug. 17 the police continued the investigation of the massacre of the four security guards at the Senukai supermarket in Kaunas, Lithuania's second largest city. Vladimirov was arrested Aug. 14 suspected of the killing, after the police found 50 small caliber cartridges and a gun silencer in his house. A possible motive mentioned so far is that Vladimirov wanted the other guards' weapons.
SENT CONDOLENCES TO PUTIN: Estonian President Lennart Meri on Aug. 21 sent a message of condolence to Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the tragedy of the nuclear submarine Kursk. "I wish to assure you that Estonia was shocked by the lethal outcome of this tragedy, and that until the very last moment, we shared the hope of Russians and of all those who know the harsh elemental power of the sea," Meri wrote.
URGES NOT TO EXAGGERATE: Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins believes last week's bombing in the shopping center in central Riga will have a negative effect on Latvia's image but that the crime should not be exaggerated either. The minister said Aug. 21 that the blast has occurred and therefore it is a fact. What matters now, he said, how the country will solve the crime and punish those guilty.
SIX SEE HARM: Six opposition parties discussed the results accession to the European Union would have for Estonia and expressed a sense of alarm at its consequences, which could be potentially harmful to the people of Estonia. Taking part in the seminar were the Estonian Blue Party (ESE), the Estonian Christian People's Party (EKRP), the Estonian Social-Democratic Party (ESDTP), the Estonian Independence Party (EIP), the Russian Party in Estonia (VEE) and the Russian Unity Party (VUP).
CONTRACEPTIVE RAFT DELAYED: A raft made of inflated condoms and its crew of five, which last week departed from Cape Kolka in western Latvia to sail in the Baltic Sea, got delayed by windless weather at the Estonian island Ruhnu, one of the trip's organizers said Aug. 21. Latvian bungee-jumping club president Ivars Beitans said that a proposal was made to the two disabled persons included in the crew to return home and the raft was likely to continue the voyage with only three people on board. If the current voyage turns out to be a success, next year the Latvian Club of Disabled Persons plans to launch wider campaign by sailing to the Swedish island of Gotland on a raft built from 250,000 condoms.
TO SACK OR NOT TO SACK: Estonia's ruling coalition will next week consider which line to take at an extraordinary session of Parliament on Aug. 28 when they will have to vote either against or for the dismissal of defense forces commander Johannes Kert. Coalition politicians have said there are several options: a common position may be agreed upon in the coalition council and the alliance will vote uniformly for President Lennart Meri's proposal to release Kert, or, deputies will be given free hands which may bring votes against the motion from the ranks of the coalition as well, the daily Postimees reports.