Summed up

  • 2000-12-14
JOINT EDUCATION: On Dec. 8 in Palanga, Lithuania Baltic education ministers, signed an agreement on the formation of a common higher-education area in the Baltic states. Under the agreement students from either of the three countries will be able to enroll in universities of neighboring countries on the same terms applicable to local students, a Latvian Education Ministry official said.

GOES HUNGRY IN PROTEST: A detained member of Russia's extremist National Bolshevik Party branch in Latvia has gone on a hunger strike. The bolshevik organization Pobeda reported Dec. 8 that one of the National Bolshevik Party supporters in Latvia, Vladimir Moskovtsvev, has started a hunger strike to protest his being kept in custody without a court judgment.

SAILORS KILLED: Two Latvian sailors were shot to death and one seaman got injured in the South American country of Ecuador in early December, Dobson Ship Agency director Vladimir Alexandrov said. For now the Latvian Foreign Ministry hasn't obtained any official information about the incident. The seamen were crew members of the U.S. vessel Cadiz Carrier.

NEW ELECTIONS: The central election commission Dec. 7 announced municipal elections in Latvia. The municipal elections, the third since the restoration of the country's independence in 1991, will take place March 11, 2001. Latvians will have to elect their representatives to 72 town councils, 473 county councils and, for the first time, to seven regional councils.

COMBATING HEROIN: A working group comprised of representatives from 10 countries convened for the first meeting Dec. 8 in Riga as part of the project on the spread of white heroin in Baltic and Scandinavian countries, the Interior Ministry's press office reported. Europe's practice shows that a new heroin route from Central Asia via Russia to the Baltic states and Scandinavia has developed in the last few years.

NEED PROTECTION: Minority Finno-Ugric peoples need to be placed under protection similarly to some endangered plant and animal species, Estonian President Lennart Meri said in his remarks at the opening of the Third World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples on Dec. 11. "Are we obliged to expand the activity of Green Peace to cover humans?" Meri asked at the congress held in Helsinki, the Finnish capital.

STARVING PRISONERS CHOW DOWN: A hunger strike that began in six Estonian prisons a week ago in protest against some provisions of a new detention law was in fact over by Dec. 9. Duty officers at the Rummu and Tallinn prisons said inmates started taking food again on Dec. 8. At the Central prison in Tallinn, only 12 prisoners refused food on Dec. 9.

FBI GOES EAST: A high-level delegation of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation will arrive in Estonia in mid-January to explore the possibilities of setting up a regional training center at the Interior Defense Academy. The delegation will be headed by Lis Kaciban, deputy director for training, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry said.

WINNER SELLS GOLD MEDAL: Erki Nool, the Estonian decathlon Olympic gold medal winner in Sydney, has sold at a charity auction the gold medal he won in the long jump at a yearly world decathlonists meet in Gotzis, Germany in 1995. The medal fetched 13,500 kroons ($763) at the auction, whose proceeds went to the Viljandi Orphanage.

APPROVES PROSECUTOR GENERAL: Lithuania's parliament approved by majority vote the candidacy of Antanas Klimavicius, proposed by the president for prosecutor general. Klimavicius, who's been the director of the Special Investigations Service's interrogation department up to now, will move into his new office after President Valdas Adamkus signs the decree of his appointment.

NO BEAUTY CONTEST: The head of the United States' committee on NATO, Bruce Jackson, has urged Lithuania and other NATO candidate countries to get adequately prepared for a possible invitation to join the Alliance at the 2002 NATO summit. Jackson, during the one-day visit in Vilnius on Dec. 8, met the leaders of Lithuania's government and later talked to journalists. He advised the countries seeking NATO membership to concentrate on the implementation of membership criteria and refrain from requesting the names of the most likely candidates for acceptance.