AIRFORCE BASE SECURITY: The Estonian Cabinet Oct. 9 approved the signing of contracts totaling 21.43 million kroons ($1.2 million) for installation of security equipment and barriers at the former Soviet military airfield of Amari near Tallinn. The Defense Ministry started to build a barrier around the military compound earlier this year and has so far completed 6,000 meters at a cost of 13.24 million kroons. The Amari airfield is crucial to the development of Estonia's defense forces, according to the Defense Ministry.
METAL MARKET RESTRICTIONS: Interior Minister Tarmo Loodus has suggested the introduction of restrictions on the purchase and sale of scrap metal in a bid to curb a surge in theft of metal objects. Specialists at several Estonian ministries now think that the plundering of metal can only be curbed by economic means. Restricting trade in metal under the Estonian Waste Act will be the most effective method of prevention, the minister told Parliament in an answer to an inquiry by opposition MPs Oct. 9.
KALEJS APPEAL: The Riga Regional Court Oct. 6 received an appeal from the Prosecutor General's Office against the refusal of a district court judge to issue an arrest warrant for Konrads Kalejs, suspected of Nazi war crimes. The appeal will be heard on Oct. 13, the court reported. The district court had failed to take into account the grave nature of the crime and to give sufficient consideration to the possibility of Kalejs evading investigation, said the prosecutor's office.
1,000 REASONS FOR REGRET: Riga City Council staff member Inara Upite was detained Oct. 6 on suspicion of accepting a $1,000 bribe. Anti-corruption police detained her immediately after she had accepted the bribe, said police spokesman Krists Leiskalns. A criminal investigation is under way. Bribe taking is punishable with an eight- year jail term under Latvian criminal law.
A GREEK IN THE BALTICS: As a European Union and NATO member country Greece's support for Latvia is very important, said parliamentary speaker Janis Straume on Oct. 9 following a meeting with Greek President Constantinos Stephanopulos, who was on a state visit to Latvia. The Greek president expressed support for Latvian accession to the EU and NATO and spoke about Greece's relations with Cyprus and Turkey. Stephanopulos will meet with Estonian President Lennart Meri and the head of the Orthodox Church of Estonia, Metropolitan Stephanos, on Oct. 11.
JUSTICE SERVED AT LAST: The European Court of Human Rights announced Oct. 10 that Lithuania had violated the rights of three of its citizens, and awarded them financial compensation for legal expenses and moral damage. Alleged Kaunas mobster Henrikas Daktaras sentenced for racketeering, Algis Grauslys, suspected of various financial crimes, and Arminas Grauzinis, who has served out a sentence for hooliganism, won their cases against Lithuania.
EMBASSY AGREEMENT DEADLOCKED: Lithuanian and Russian negotiators have failed to sign a bilateral agreement on the status of their respective embassies in Vilnius and Moscow. The parties exchanged opinions in Moscow last week and agreed on the need for further work to perfect the document, said Dainius Junevicius, head of a working group at the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Oct. 9. Lithuanian and Russian negotiators agreed in late June to reach agreement on the ownership of the Lithuanian Embassy in Moscow and the Russian Embassy in Vilnius by mid-September.
LUKASHENKO PASTED: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has once again inspired a Lithuanian artist who pasted a picture of the neighboring country's president into students' books. Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas wrote Oct. 5 that Redas Dirzys of the southern Alytus district handed out 101 books containing Lukashenko's picture at the opening of a new exhibition at a local museum.