Estonian Defense Ministry Chancellor Mikk Marran said while speaking at the higher state defense courses last week that Estonia carefully observes military developments in Russia, reports Public Broadcasting. Marran said that the continued increase of a military presence by Russia in the Baltic Sea region stresses the need to strengthen the intelligence and advance warning ability of Estonia. He said that Estonia’s security has never been as well protected as it is today. “At the same time, our intelligence institutions have a good review that Russia has increased its military presence in the Baltic Sea region recently, forming new units and strengthening the existing ones,” Marran said. We will in the future also observe attentively the developments in our neighborhood, we continue to be active in the international arena, consult with our allies and continue developing our intelligence and advance warning ability,” said Marran.
Restoring train traffic between Tallinn and Riga via Tartu would not be cost-effective without state subsidies, while the Tallinn-St. Petersburg direction would reach profit, an analysis commissioned by the Economy Ministry indicates, reports Public Broadcasting. The Riga-Valka and Valga-Tallinn trains meet in the Valga station now, but there are very few people using the possibility of switching from one to the other train, it takes over 8 hours to reach Tallinn from Riga. Positium, the firm that compiled the study, based it on the assumption that the traveling time would be around 4.5 hours, three trains a day from both Riga and Tallin, with speeds of 120 km/h and new trains. The train would be profitable if the state subsidy in Estonia would be 2.4 million euros a year or there were 40 percent more passengers or tickets and 40 percent more expensive. “While the Tallinn-Riga bus trip is 311 km long, taking a train via Tartu makes it 441 km long. The Tallinn-St. Petersburg train route, with two departures a day from each city, would be profitable. The traveling speed would have to be raised and the time needed for border crossing shortened, though.