Baltic Timeline

  • 2002-08-29
Ten years ago

Estonia's Ambassador to Finland Lennart Meri announces that he will leave his post to run for president. Meri has drawn criticism in recent weeks from Estonia's Foreign Ministry for his comments against a government decision that Estonia draw the border of its territorial waters 12 nautical miles from the coast. Meri says the line is too far out and that Estonia will not be able to defend and control its territorial waters.

Representatives of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a U.S. government-funded economic development agency, visit the Baltics this week to promise aid to develop their fledgling economies. "We are in the Baltics to do business not to take part in tourism," said Fred Zeder, the organization's president.

The U.S. dollar this week trades for 50 British pence, 11.27 Estonian kroons and 184 Latvian rubles.

Aug. 26 is a day for Latvian soccer fans to remember as the Latvian national team tied the Denmark 0-0 in a World Cup qualifier. The game was Denmark's first since winning the European Championships in June. "This day will remain in the memory of every soccer player for a long time," Latvian national team coach Janis Gilis said after the game.

Five years ago

Supporters of Lithuanian-American presidential hopeful Valdas Adamkus have begun collecting signatures for permission to register their candidate in the upcoming election. Some 2,000 volunteers of the Action for Adamkus, organized mainly by the Center Union, expect to collect half a million signatures, roughly 17 percent of the population of Lithuania. The goal is to put political pressure on the Supreme Commission of Elections to register Adamkus. His proposed bid for president is quite controversial since Lithuania's Constitution says a presidential candidate must live at least three years in Lithuania prior to elections.

Estonian journalists may think twice about what they print after the State Court upheld a decision which convicted journalist Enno Tammer of offending a prominent politician's wife. The Estonian Journalist of the Year was first convicted of degrading "the honor and dignity of another individual in an improper form," read a criminal charge posted by the Tallinn City Court. The State Court's decision on August 26 upheld the fine of $18 and $150 in court costs for offending Vilja Savisaar, the second wife of Center Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar. The Estonian Newspaper Association (EAL), PEN club and all three major dailies have condemned the decision. Tarmu Tammerk, EAL head, said that although there must be some limits on freedom of speech, none of the penalties should carry the stigma of a crime.