Eesti in brief - 2011-09-08

  • 2011-09-07

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves presented on Sept. 6 his collection of essays, articles and speeches, entitled “Omalla aanella” (“With the Power of the Word”), in Helsinki, reports National Broadcasting. The president met with readers as well as with Finnish President Tarja Halonen. In “Omalla aanella”, which was published by the Finnish publishing house WSOY, President Ilves talks about Estonia returning to the map of Europe and global policies, including the close ties between Finland and Estonia, and he also discusses life, philosophy, literature and music. The book consists of the president’s speeches and essays and also includes an interview with the president by the compiler of the book, Iivi Anna Masso, which sheds light on the development of his political views and provides other background information.

The new Koidula railway border station in southeast Estonia on the border with Russia that was opened festively last Saturday does not exist officially, according to an agreement regulating border crossing venues between Estonia and Russia, reports Eesti Paevaleht. An agreement dating back to 2002, regulating the Estonian-Russian border crossing locations, stipulates that trains travel from Estonia to Russia via the Orava station. Although the Koidula station is technically ready to service passengers to and from Russia, until there is an agreement that mentions Koidula, it will not be possible to launch Riga-St. Petersburg or Tallinn-Moscow passenger trains via the Koidula station. When Eesti Paevaleht asked the foreign ministry, what is the status of concluding the necessary agreement, the response was rather evasive. The ministry said that the text of changing the agreement has been agreed upon, but they refused to say when it could come in force. The only consoling thing the ministry could say was that since the agreement is an intergovernmental technical agreement, there is no need for ratification by the Riigikogu or the State Duma.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has allowed Latvia’s Unity political party to use in its election campaign comments he has previously made in praising Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), reports LETA. Unity has included Ansip in its political advertisements, where he praises the good work Dombrovskis has done and expresses hope that he will remain the country’s prime minister. Estonian government spokesman Villu Kand explained that Ansip agreed to this because he truly believes that Dombrovskis is a great political leader who has worked hard to help Latvia overcome the economic crisis. Kand added that the Estonian PM has expressed support only to Dombrovskis as an individual. “Ansip is not against any of the other prime minister candidates,” Kand said. The Estonian prime minister emphasizes that the final decision will be made by the Latvian people. He is also confidant that the good cooperation between Latvia and Estonian will continue also after the elections, Kand added.