✔︎ Eesti saadab välja kaks Vene konsulit | Two Russian consuls expelled from Estonia
✔︎ Trump Scolds NATO Allies on Cost-Sharing
✔︎ Trump failed to fully endorse Article 5
✔︎ Trump complained to Belgian PM of difficulty setting up golf resorts in the EU (The Guardian - UK)
Friday 26. May
✔︎ Põlva: When Home Isn't Where the Heart Is
(Time - text and video)
[Story of refugees who were assigned to Põlva, Estonia as part of the E.U. plan to disperse the thousands of refugees escaping Syria's ongoing conflict.]
✔︎ Põlvasse paigutatud süürlane: elu Eestis on nagu sundabielu
"Time’i teatel on üle veerandi alates programmi algusest Eesti vastu võetud 150 pagulasest juba lahkunud, kasutades ära Euroopa lahtisi piire, et ühineda sugulastega või otsida paremaid võimalusi mujal."
- Brüsselist Intervjuu: Peaminister Jüri Ratas
- Rail Balticu jaoks otsitakse 90 eksperti
- RB Rail announces competition to fill 90 expert positions
- NATO jääb Baltimaadesse vähemalt 2022. aastani
- Eesti saadab välja kaks Vene konsulit
(ERR | Postimees)
"Eesti saadab välja Narva Vene peakonsuli Dmitri Kazjonnovi ja konsul Andrei Surgajevi."
- Two Russian consuls expelled from Estonia
- Trumpi nõunik: USA välistab Vene-sanktsioonide leevendamise
"USA ei leevenda Venemaale seoses Ukraina konfliktiga kehtestatud sanktsioone, ütles Ühendriikide presidendi Donald Trumpi peamine majandusnõunik reedel G7 tippkohtumisel Itaalias."
- NATO cheers Trump’s US Military Budget
(Politico-EU | The Daily Signal)
"Trump’s fiscal blueprint, released in Washington just as the president was headed to Brussels to attend his first NATO leaders’ meeting, includes $4.8 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative, a special fund created by U.S. President Barack Obama to protect against Russian aggression after the invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014."
“From the Polish perspective, the deployment of U.S. troops to Poland and Baltic states means a real deterrence since it increases the probability of the U.S. forces engagement in case of potential aggression from Russia,” Daniel Szeligowski, senior research fellow at the Polish Institute of International Affairs."
- But is higher military spending the right answer?
- Trump’s Article 5 Omission Was an Attack Against All of NATO
- Trump confirms Europe’s worst fears
- Trump complained to Belgian PM of difficulty setting up golf resorts in the EU
"Donald Trump offered an insight into his approach to political life during his 30 hours in Belgium while munching “lots of” Belgian chocolates, it has been reported. … “These are the best,” he said, before explaining that his ambivalent attitude towards the EU was a consequence of his experiences trying to set up businesses, notably golf resorts, on the continent.”
"He said it took him two and a half years to get a licence and that did not give him a very good image of the European Union. One feels that he wants a system where everything can be realised very quickly and without formalities.”
- Thursday 25. May
- Trump Scolds NATO Allies on Cost-Sharing
- Failed to endorse Article 5
- 9,000 protesters greeted his arrival
- Gets chilly reception at NATO | "Stony faces”
- Fundamentally misunderstands how NATO works
(Washington Post | Politico | Deutsche Welle | Slate | Salon)
"Whether it’s NATO, the Paris climate pact, the Iran nuclear deal or the NAFTA trade accord, the Trump administration has wavered and equivocated, failing to offer a full-throated endorsement and allowing such agreements to continue in an awkward state of limbo without U.S. leadership and nourishment.."
- Brussels breaks out protests, protocol for Trump
"US President Donald Trump is meeting NATO and EU leaders in Brussels after his arrival was marked by 9,000 people marching through the city with "Trump not welcome" placards."
- Trump Hands Putin a Win at First NATO Meeting
- Trump kritiseeris NATO
- Ratas vestles Trumpiga
"Ma ütlesin seda, et Eesti on tugev NATO toetaja, ma tänan, et USA on toetanud ka Eestit ja ma ütlesin, et Eesti on see riik, kes panustab 2,17 protsenti."
- Merkel: NATO on meie ühise julgeoleku sammas
- Tusk: minu ja Trumpi seisukohad Venemaa suhtes ei kattu
- Europe’s papers: Don’t make Trump mad
"The Continent’s columnists weigh in on the US president’s first foreign trip."
- Trump and Obama Visited Europe. One Got a Warm Welcome.
(New York Times)
- Trump’s NATO Speech Had One Major Flaw
"Stony faces and sniggering all round.”
(Huffington Post - Uk)
"Donald Trump brazenly chastised NATO leaders to their faces for not paying their fair share to protect the alliance, adding that the current situation is “not fair”. Speaking from the organisation’s new headquarters in Brussels (a city he once called a hellhole), his speech garnered a mix of stony faces and suppressed laughter from the heads of state assembled to listen."
"Unfortunately for Trump, he did nothing to change the opinion of many that he fundamentally misunderstands how NATO works."
- NATO Explained
- How NATO is funded and who pays what
- NATO’s new €1.12 billion headquarters
(NATO press release)
- Jerusalem Post Interview: Sven Misker
(by Tamara Zieve)
"Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Misker told the 'Post' that his country was firmly supportive of Israel, but still did not accept settlement construction.”
“The international community deems that settlements are in contradiction to international law and an obstacle to peace and will not be approved as a legitimate way of advancing Israel's national interests,” he said.
- The article’s original title is "ESTONIA BLASTS BDS ...”
So what is the BDS? Aljazeera gives an answer:
- Eastern Europeans Love Washington
“Really, looking at it, we have to say we have had amazingly good, high-level meetings that we didn’t have at this early stage of the last administration,” Kairi Saar-Isop, a counsellor at the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, told Foreign Policy. The three Baltic foreign ministers have already met with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, she noted. “They never met Obama’s.”
- Kevadtormil sai tõsiselt viga kuus sõdurit
- Teisel pool piiri tuleb suur sõjamäng - 'Zapad 2017'
Wednesday 24. May
- Finland-Estonia gas pipeline is a ‘high-level project for the EU’
(Nordic Business Insider)
"The 50-centimetre diameter pipeline will eventually be 150 kilometres long connecting Continental Europe at Paldiski on the north Estonian coast to Inkoo on Finland’s southern shoreline. … this was a political decision to lessen Member States’ reliance - sometimes total - on Russian energy and natural gas in particular.”
- Mihhail Korb astus ministriametist tagasi
- Finland: Cherry blossoms attract nature lovers in Helsinki
"Every spring cherry trees in Helsinki’s Cherry Tree Park dazzle the eye with a profusion of soft pink blooms that attract sun worshippers and nature lovers. The trees were planted in 2007 with sponsorship from Helsinki’s Japanese community, and each the park becomes ground zero for a Japanese-style ‘hanami' spring celebration."
- Korstnapühkijad -
- “Touching the Sky: Chimney-sweepers”
(Photos by Tatjana Lind - 2012)
“… few people think about those who take care of stoves and fireplaces, of the state of chimneys, ventilation and pipes. Many people think that the chimney sweeper is a fairy-tale character. However, it’s not quite true. …"
- Korstnapühkija Juhan leiab tööl nii adrenaliini kui ammu unustatud esemeid
(ETV video - 2014)
- Miks on oluline kontrollida, kas korstnapühkijal on kutsetunnistus
(Äripäev - mai 2016)
"Korstnapühkijatel on kokku kolm taset. Kõigepealt tase 3 ehk korstnapühkija õpipoisi tase. Sellele järgneb tase 4 ehk korstnapühkija ning kõige viimane on tase 5 ehk korstnapühkija-meister. Kortermajades võivad korstnapühkimise teenust osutada 4. ja 5. tasemekvalifikatsiooniga korstnapühkijad."
- Kaks Korstnapühkija Artiklid - Võru keeles
Tuesday 23. May
- Kaunasest Berliini:
Postimees sõidab rongiga
Reporter Nils Niitra kirjutas: "Olgu Rail Balticuga kuidas on, aga rongiga on praegugi võimalik Tallinnast Berliini sõita. Otsustasin koos fotograaf Kristjan Teedemaga selle rännaku läbi teha ja näidata, millised on rongid, elu ja inimesed. Berliini jõudsime kahe päeva ja seitsme tunniga. Piletiraha pidime maksma ligi 110 eurot. Berliinist tagasi tulime lennukiga, mis läks maksma alla saja euro ja aega võttis ligi kolm tundi.”
- Allied tanks face off in final battle of Spring Storm
- Ukraine: New generation for the new country
(New Eastern Europe)
“Two different countries coexist in Ukraine, two different generations with different values and views of the country's past and future. One generation grew in the USSR and were brought up in a social model of paternalism with the dominating principle being, "If I am a boss then you are a fool." This "Soviet" generation now misses cheap substandard sausages and the First of May demonstrations.”
"Another generation is that of people who were born in the 1980s and 1990s. This generation does not remember the sumptuous Communist Party Plenums and the capital in Moscow. The first Ukrainian generation since gaining independence has no other homeland and is more responsible towards the protection of its state. This generation was the first to come out during the Maidan protests in 2004 and 2013 and the first to sign up as volunteers for Ukraine’s armed forces at the frontline in 2014. This generation travels a lot, knows at least three languages and actively uses social networks."
"However, both of these generations live in one institutionally inefficient state."
- The growing Russian threat in Europe:
The case of Ukraine
Testimony before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
(Brookings - 17. May)
"Russia is pursuing several goals in Europe. First, the Kremlin seeks a Russian sphere of influence—or a “sphere of privileged interests,” as then-President Dmitry Medvedev called it in 2008—in the post-Soviet space, with the possible exception of the Baltic States. Mr. Putin does not seek to recreate the Soviet Union, as the Russian economy is not prepared to subsidize the economies of the other former Soviet states. What the Russian leadership wants from its neighbors is that they defer to Moscow on issues that the Kremlin defines as key to Russian interests."
- Report: NATO’s Evolving Modern Deterrence Posture
(European Leadership Network)
"This report is based on deliberations at a private meeting of NATO Alliance officials and experts in Brussels on 27 and 28 March 2017."
Monday 22. May
- Latgals Want Their Place in the Sun - But in Latvia Not in Russia
"Many in the West have speculated that Vladimir Putin might exploit the social, linguistic and ethnic problems in eastern Latvia as part of a “hybrid” invasion of that NATO country. But both the history of Latgale and its current aspirations show that Latgals see their future not in Russia but very much as part of the Republic of Latvia."
- The East-West SpyWar as Viewed From Putin’s Doorstep
"Current events are difficult to watch, especially for Estonians and other NATO members who spent the last Cold War on the losing side, through no choice of their own. For those enslaved by the Soviets, the United States was a beacon of law, liberty and democracy, and to see American politics descend into ugly farce under President Trump makes for a depressing spectacle."
- Russia -
"Trust No One"
- A Baker’s Double Dozen of Neglected Russian Stories
- Putin wanted a bridge to Crimea. To build it, he turned to an old friend.
(The New Yorker)
“The bridge would be a demanding and technically complex project, however, and at first there were doubts about who would be willing to undertake it. Then, in January 2015, the Russian government announced that Arkady Rotenberg, a sixty-three-year-old magnate with interests in construction, banking, transportation, and energy, would direct the project. In retrospect, the choice was obvious, almost inevitable. Rotenberg’s personal wealth is estimated at more than two and a half billion dollars, and the bulk of his income derives from state contracts, mostly to build thousands of miles of roads and natural-gas pipelines and other infrastructure projects. Last year, the Russian edition of Forbes dubbed Rotenberg “the king of state orders” for winning nine billion dollars’ worth of government contracts in 2015 alone, more than any other Russian businessman. But perhaps the most salient detail in Rotenberg’s biography dates from childhood: in 1963, at the age of twelve, he joined the same judo club as Putin. The two became sparring partners and friends, and have remained close ever since."
"Rotenberg’s success is a prime example of a political and economic restructuring that has taken place during Putin’s seventeen years in office: the de-fanging of one oligarchic class and the creation of another."
- Video: Putin building bridge from annexed Crimea to Russia
- Russian Views of the International Order
"In this report, RAND researchers … identify core Russian foreign policy interests, including defense of the regime, influence in its neighborhood, and status as a great power. The authors trace how these interests have led to growing Russian skepticism of the West and to Russia's current view that the international order is dominated by the United States and is a threat to Russian interests and security."
- Russia Increasingly Treats Georgia as Its Prospective Satellite
"The last several weeks were quite tumultuous for Georgia. The country experienced a heightened level of Russian intimidation and ended up on the receiving end of several humiliating statements by high-ranking Russian politicians."