Eesti in brief - 2009-11-04

  • 2009-11-04
At their meeting on Oct. 30, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros discussed the need to guarantee greater transparency regarding the European Union's activities as well as its conformity with the principles of good administration, reports The Ombudsman acknowledged the Nordic countries, including Estonia, for the openness in the governance of their countries. Ilves and Diamandouros confirmed that utilization of the European Union's budgetary funds in the interests of the member states must be under strict control, and insufficient information in this regard damages the reputation of the European Union in the eyes of its citizens. "European Union legislation must be clear and comprehensible to the citizens," says Ilves.

Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo says that NATO has plans for protection of the Baltic states and they are being developed jointly, reports LETA. "Plans exist at different levels, different formats," Aaviksoo said. This was in response to the question from Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite asking why don't the Baltic states have a firm defense plan. Aaviksoo said that he thinks what Grybauskaite meant was the kind of Cold War era conventional conflict counterattack plans that include very wide military planning. He said that plans against different dangers have to be developed further in NATO. "They all will come step-by-step. Less emotions and more actions 's we have been on that track so far and will continue moving in that direction." Aaviksoo's trip to Washington last week was to meet with U.S. Minister of Defense Robert Gates and discuss Afghanistan and cyber defense, developments in Russia and the military exercises held recently that were the biggest in 15 years.