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Eesti in brief - 2010-03-03

  • 2010-03-03

Russian ground forces chief, Colonel General Alexander Postnikov, said that Iskander ballistic missiles would be deployed at the town of Luga in Leningrad Oblast, approximately 120-200 kilometers from Russia’s borders with Estonia and Latvia, reports Russian newspaper Kommersant. Postnikov stressed that this move had nothing to do with the planned deployment of the U.S. surface-to-air Patriot missiles in Poland. The deployment of the Iskander missiles in Leningrad Oblast is being done in accordance with the Russian Armed Forces development plans, said Postnikov. Iskander missiles have a range of 500 kilometers, which means  the three Baltic capital cities are within striking range.

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said at a Feb. 25 meeting in Tallinn with Turkey’s EU affairs minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis that Estonia supports Turkey’s closer ties with the EU, reports Postimees Online. “Estonia supports in every way Turkey becoming closer to the European Union; this is a process from which all parties benefit,” said Ansip. Economic cooperation between the two states was also discussed. In 2009, nearly 40,000 Estonian residents visited Turkey. Ansip said that cooperation in tourism and trade is positive. The most important thing that Turkey can offer to the EU, when it becomes a member, is peace and stability, said Egemen Bagis.

Some weather experts say that Estonia is at risks of floods this spring, reports LETA. Estonian Meteorology and Hydrology Institute’s chief specialist on climatology, Ain Kallis, warns that Estonia will have to prepare for floods this spring. He mentioned that there are plenty of cases throughout history where, after a winter with abundant snow such as this one, there have been “big floods.” The example of the spring of 1931 was brought up, where 2 percent of Estonian territory was under water. The long period of cold temperatures this year is the third longest on record for Estonia. Kallis warned that currently, the snow hasn’t become a very big threat for roofs of buildings, but the situation can change when sleet, which is much heavier than snow, starts to fall.