26 May, 2017


✔︎ 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
_____________


✔︎ PõlvaWhen 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
(Delfi)
"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 IntervjuuPeaminister Jüri Ratas
(ERR)



- Rail Balticu jaoks otsitakse 90 eksperti
(Postimees)

- RB Rail announces competition to fill 90 expert positions
(ERR)



- NATO jääb Baltimaadesse vähemalt 2022. aastani
(ERR)



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
(ERR)



- Trumpi nõunik: USA välistab Vene-sanktsioonide leevendamise
(ERR)
"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?
(Spiegel)



- Trump’s Article 5 Omission Was an Attack Against All of NATO
(Foreign Policy)

- Trump confirms Europe’s worst fears
(Politico-Europe)



- Trump complained to Belgian PM of difficulty setting up golf resorts in the EU
(The Guardian)
"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
(Deutsche Welle)
"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
(Foreign Policy)



- Trump kritiseeris NATO
(ERR)

- Ratas vestles Trumpiga
(Postimees)
"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
(Postimees)


- Tusk: minu ja Trumpi seisukohad Venemaa suhtes ei kattu

(ERR)




Europe’s papers: Don’t make Trump mad
(Politico-Europe)
"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."






Jerusalem Post InterviewSven 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
(Foreign Policy)
“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.”



_____________

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
(Äripäev)



Finland: Cherry blossoms attract nature lovers in Helsinki
(Yle)
"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. …"
and


- 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
(Uma Leht)
--




_____________

Tuesday 23. May
_____________


- Kaunasest Berliini:
Postimees sõidab rongiga
(Postimees)
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
(ERR)



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
(Paul Goble)
"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
(Observer)
"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
(Paul Goble)



- 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
(France 24)



- Russian Views of the International Order
(Rand Corporation)
"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
(Jamestown)
"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."

_______
____
_









19 May, 2017


✔︎ "If you are only fighting about tweets, if you don’t have time to follow what’s happening in the world, that’s really disturbing.” 
- An anonymous EU Minister


✔︎ Viis saladuslikku Eestimaa lossi, kuhu nüüd saab sisse piiluda
(Maakodu)
[Suuremõisa, Luke, Sillapää, Arkna, ja Saare]
- Palmse mõis


✔︎ "Eestis ei tea just paljud - ja ei saa ka kunagi teadma - kõigist neist asjust, mida Soome Eesti jaoks teinud on.” 
- Soome president Mauno Koivisto kes suri ära eelmisel nädalal


- EstoNews 2014 thru 2017 Archive:


_____________

Friday 19. May
_____________


✔︎ Trump’s NATO Article 5 problem
(Brookings Institute - Thomas Wright)
"The Brussels mini-summit is supposed to affirm the relevance of the alliance in the Trump era but there is a risk that it could severely undermine it. President Trump is the only American president since NATO’s founding who has not explicitly endorsed Article 5. His vice president and his secretary of defense have but he has not. If he fails to do so in Brussels, it could raise grave doubts about the credibility of the American security guarantee and provide Russia with an incentive to probe vulnerable Baltic states.”
"Compare this with Trump’s predecessor. President Obama went to Estonia in 2014 and said:
I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty Alliance. We have a solemn duty to each other. Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, ‘who will come to help,’ you’ll know the answer—the NATO Alliance, including the Armed Forces of the United States of America.”
--
"One can criticize President Obama’s Russia policy but he understood the sacred importance of Article 5."

✔︎ Background: Articles on Obama’s 2014 trip to Tallinn
(EstoNews - Sept. 2014) 



- Abandon the 2% Obsession: A new rating for pulling your weight in NATO
(War on the Rocks)
"Unfortunately, the 2 percent standard does not meet the burden-sharing needs of the alliance. It is a political, flawed, and narrow metric. Further, if the current trend of rising European defense spending continues, the 2 percent threshold will become less and less relevant as all states move toward that mark. That means NATO will have to define a new and improved burden-sharing indicator."



- President Kaljulaid: 'I don’t believe that Russia would attack a NATO country’
(Deutsche Welle)
"I don't believe Russia would attack a NATO country or NATO as such, no matter which country we are talking about. You can not divide security; NATO security space is indivisible."



- Germany’s Foreign Minister: ‘America First’ Means Supporting Europe
(Foreign Policy)
"Ahead of President Donald Trump’s first NATO meeting and G-7 summit, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel came to Washington, D.C. with a message: If “America First” means anything, it means putting European security at the top of the agenda."



NATO critic to write Trump NATO speech
(The Hill | BuzzFeed)
"Trump has tapped Stephen Miller, a senior adviser at the White House and an outspoken NATO critic, to draft his speech before the military alliance in Brussels next week ...”
--
"The prospect of a speech penned by the 31-year-old anti-globalist adds a new layer of anxiety for NATO allies uncertain about which version of Donald Trump will show up in Belgium’s capital: The one that believes NATO is “no longer obsolete” or the one that thinks the 28-member military alliance is a relic of the past."
[Stephen Miller is credited with authoring the president's “American carnage” inaugural address.]
--



EU: European leaders fear Trump’s political chaos is undermining U.S. power
(Washington Post)
"I’m getting increasingly worried that this internal chaos in the United States is growing to an unimaginable scale,” one European minister said. “And that may grow into security and defense policy. If you are only fighting about tweets, if you don’t have time to follow what’s happening in the world, that’s really disturbing.”
“The spilling of secrets by the president is getting worse every day,” a Western European diplomat said.”
"Trump has managed to provoke a healthy European debate on the transatlantic relationship,” said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO secretary general. “In the past we took it for granted.”

- EU left in dark as Trump shares intel with Russia
(Politico-Europe - 17. May)



- NATO Tries to Trump-Proof President’s First Visit
(Foreign Policy | Spiegel)
"The alliance is telling heads of state to limit talks to two to four minutes at a time during the discussion… 
“It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,” said one source briefed extensively on the meeting’s preparations. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child - someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity."
--

- Trump under pressure to assure NATO allies he has their back
(Reuters)
"Trump plans to dedicate a memorial to the invocation of Article 5 at the new NATO headquarters."



_____________

Thursday 18. May
_____________


- Speaker of Russian upper house ‘waiting' for Estonia on border treaty
(ERR)
"Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko has placed the responsibility for moving forward with the ratification of the Estonian-Russian border treaty on Estonia, stating that Moscow has done everything needed for its ratification. "We have done everything necessary to regulate this topic.”
"It was not clear from the report what Matviyenko meant by "signing," as both countries have already signed the border agreements, which now need to be ratified, a process in which Estonia has progressed further than Russia.
"Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky said in October 2016, following the Duma elections in Russia, that the Duma might ratify the border treaties with Estonia before the end of the year. No concrete steps have yet been taken in the Duma to do so, however."



Fotodsellised majad kerkivad Tartu uude elamurajooni
(Postimees)



- Number of home solar power producers on the rise
(Postimees)
"Leading power network operator Elektrilevi's magnanimity in connecting small producers to the grid has resulted in such a fevered campaign of installing solar panels that Estonia could have more solar plants that motorcycles in a decade's time."



- US and EU reject laptop ban to flights from Europe
(BBC)
"Steve Landells, a safety expert at the British Airline Pilots Association, said there was a greater risk of lithium battery fires if larger devices were kept in an aircraft's hold. "Given the risk of fire from these devices when they are damaged or they short circuit, an incident in the cabin would be spotted earlier and this would enable the crew to react quickly before any fire becomes uncontainable."


 
Baltic Sea: Unexpected Nazi-era legacy - Fish tumors
(Deutsche Welle)
"Weaponry dumped in the sea at the end of World War II is leaching chemicals toxic to fish and people. … German researchers have uncovered a 25 percent incidence of tumors among a type of flatfish inhabiting one area of the Baltic Sea, close to the northern German city of Kiel."
--
"They believe the cancerous growths found on the species known as the common dab could be linked to the estimated 1.6 million tons of armaments that were dumped at the bottom of the Baltic and North Seas at the end of World War II.”
"Most of the chemical munitions were sunk in deep areas of the Baltic, around the Bornholm and Gotland basins. But some were dumped in shallower waters."



- European Commission calls on Estonia to find solution to accept migrants from Italy
(Baltic Times)

- Lithuania Opens Door to Gay Chechens Fleeing Persecution
(Foreign Policy)




_____________

Wednesday 17. May
_____________


✔︎ XII noorte laulu- ja tantsupeo täielikku kava
30. juuni - 2. juuli 2017
(Postimees)



- Eestis oli Euroopa Liidu kiireim hinnatõus
(Postimees)
"Kõige kõrgemad olid aastased inflatsioonimäärad aprillis 3,6 protsenti Eestis, 3,5 protsenti Leedus ja 3,3 protsenti Lätis. Piim, piimatooted ja munad on Eestis aastaga kallinenud ligi üheksa protsenti, suhkur ja kondiitritooted üle kuue ja värske puuvili üle seitsme protsendi."



- Kontaveit lükkas maailma esireketi auti 6:4, 6:0
(ERR | Postimees | Delfi)

- Anett Kontaveit conquers Kerber for career best win in Rome
(WTA)



- Can Europe Deal With Cyberattacks?
(Carnegie Europe)
[Nearly a dozen experts were asked for answers to this question. Toomas Hendrik Ilves was one of them.]








_____________

Tuesday 16. May
_____________


- Soome kaitseminister ei lubaks riiki Eestile appi tulevaid NATO vägesid
(ERR)
"Soome valmistub kaitsma oma territooriumi ega lase sinna kedagi võõrast. Eesti kaitselahendus on NATO. Eesti julgeoleku tagaja on NATO liikmelisus. Soomel selliseid julgeolekutagatisi ei ole. Üldse ei maksa julgeolekupoliitikas vastata küsimustele, mis algavad "kui-ga". Vastavalt olukorrale kaitseb Soome oma territooriumi ja täidab EL liikmena võetud kohustusi."



Russian hybrid warfare: The view from Estonia
(Edward Lucas)
"Technology is creating new threats, not just fake news, but fake audio, pictures and soon fake video: convincing computer-generated footage of politicians saying and doing things which bear no relation to reality."
 "We focus too much on what Russia does, and not enough on what they exploit. We need to look more at ourselves.”
--
"The great weakness of the West in dealing with our adversaries is that we respond to the part of the problem that we see most easily, with the tools that we have to hand. That may give us a satisfying feeling that we are doing something. It does not mean that we are making ourselves safer."



- No One Denies Soviet Army Defeated Hitler but Russians Won’t Admit It Occupied Those It Liberated
(Paul Goble)
"The anger Ukrainians, Balts and other East Europeans feel is the direct result of Russia continuing to “assert that it was only a liberator” and nothing else just as today Moscow insists that “there are no Russian soldiers in the Donbass” and that theya re in Syria “only to help the toiling people.” 
--
  “It is time,” Ross argues, “to honestly admit that the Soviet Red Army having liberated became an occupier.” Taking that skeleton out of the closet will allow everyone to breathe easier. But even more, she says, “until we do this, Russia will not have a future” because “Russians will not understand why other peoples are so negatively inclined toward them.”




_____________

Monday 15. May
_____________

- Mis saab Narva muuseumist
(ERR - "AK. Nädal”)
"Pool aastat on olnud õhus Narva muuseumi saatus. Sel neljapäeval toimuval Narva linnavolikogu istungil peaks saabuma selgus, kas muuseumile antakse ellujäämiseks nii vajalik raha, mille linn mullu külmutas."



- Idapiiri ehitustööd on olulise sammu jagu edasi liikunud
(Lõunaleht - 8. mai)
"Maismaapiiri tähistamise tööd on jõudnud lõpusirgele – Eesti Vabariigi ja Vene Föderatsiooni 556 piiripostist on paigaldatud 535 piiriposti ja vahepiiriposti, piir on puhastatud ning rajamisel on kaks katselõiku. „Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet on teinud väljapaistvalt professionaalset tööd piiri välja ehitamisel,“ ütles peaminister Ratas ja lisas, et kogemus, mis piiri välja ehitamisel on saadud on hindamatu ning tulevikus on võimalik ekspertiisi jagada ka teistele."



- Ex-President Koivisto had secretly funnelled money to support Estonian independence
(Yle)
"During his term as Finnish President, recently-departed statesman Mauno Koivisto faced harsh criticism for not supporting Estonia's bid for independence more openly. Koivisto actually disguised aid to Finland's southern neighbour as cultural cooperation, to avoid the ire of Moscow. He kept quiet about it until his death."



FinlandEx-President Mauno Koivisto dies at 93
(Yle)
"Koivisto was president from 1982 until 1994, leading the country through its application to join the European Union and the break-up of the Soviet Union."

- Koivisto ajal tegutses Soomes Eesti asjade minister
(Postimees)
"Eestis ei tea just paljud - ja ei saa ka kunagi teadma - kõigist neist asjust, mida Soome Eesti jaoks teinud on.”



- Eestisse jõudnud Soome pioneerirühma juht: meil on plaan ka tulevikus Kevadtormile tulla
(Delfi)
"Soome pioneeripataljoni ülema kolonelleitnant Tero Savoneni sõnul on Kevadtormil osalemine nende üksuse jaoks äärmiselt oluline, sest pakub võimalusi üksteiselt õppimiseks."
--
"Saame siin täiendada enda üksuse toimimist ja ka oma teadmisi erineva pioneeritehnika valdkonnas," ütles kolonelleitnant Savonen. "Meil on plaan ka tulevikus Kevadtormile tulla."



Intervjuu: Federica Mogherini
(ERR)
[Current High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.]




_____________

Sunday 14. May
_____________


Moskva korraldagu Zapad-2017 läbipaistvalt
(ERR)
"Euroopa maavägede ülem kindralleitnant Ben Hodges kutsus laupäeval Venemaad korraldama tänavust suurõppust Zapad-2017 võimalikult läbipaistvalt. "Selles, et Venemaa korraldab õppusi, pole midagi valesti. Me kõik teeme seda."



Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges stresses importance of flexible deterrence in crisis prevention
(ERR)
"There is nothing wrong with Russia having exercises; we all do it," he pointed out. "This time there seems to be more interest throughout Europe about Zapad and what it consists of. Our recommendation is that Russia should offer to be as transparent as the Western exercises are."



- Estonian Catholics celebrate the Fatima centenary
(Vatican Radio - 12. May)
“In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the country, and it was the first papal visit in Estonian history, shortly after Estonia declared formal independence. After the collapse of Soviet Union, people in Estonia believe that the fall of Soviet communism, particularly in Eastern Europe, was the work of Pope John Paul II,” said Marge-Marie Paas, press representative for the Catholic Church in Estonia, though she hastened to point out that Pope St. John Paul II attributed the fall to the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima."
"The present-day Estonian Roman Catholic Church, has nearly 6000 Catholics."



- Fitch Ratings Affirms Estonia at 'A+'; Outlook Stable
(Reuters - India Edition)




_____________

- Off Topic -
_____________


✔︎ Interview: Condoleezza Rice
(Politico - audio and text)
[She was the former US Secretary of State (2005–2009) and a specialist on Russia and the Soviet Union.] 


- Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections
(U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment)
"The declassified 14-page report, which was released in January, concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the effort to undermine faith in the U.S. presidential election and helped Trump win the White House."
or:







_____________

- Russia -
"Trust No One"
_____________


✔︎ Demolition Drama in Moscow
(Foreign Affairs)
"Russia’s latest political drama came as a surprise to all.  For their part, the Kremlin and Moscow City Hall had failed to appreciate Muscovites’ attachment to their old houses and neighborhoods and their deep distrust for the authorities. The main anti-Kremlin opposition figures, meanwhile, did not anticipate the backlash and have not led the public rallies. Even experts on Moscow’s urban development had predicted that most residents would be bought off with promises of better housing.”
"Moscow city authorities and the Kremlin reacted to the uprising by suggesting that the protestors were foreign-backed provocateurs, but that sounded even more ridiculous than usual.”
"This weekend’s crisis stems from a draft law, which was initiated by Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin and has passed one reading in the Russian federal parliament. It proposes the demolition of about 4,500 apartment buildings, which are currently home to around 1.6 million people, or more than 10 percent of Moscow’s population."

✔︎ Thousands Protest In Moscow Against Housing Plan
(Huff Post | Guardian | RFERL )
"Organizers put the number of people attending the rally at up to 60,000, or 10 times the number originally agreed with Moscow authorities. Police put the number at 8,000, Russian news agencies said, though their estimate covered a smaller area. Protesters brandished banners that read ‘Hands off our homes’ and ‘My house is my castle’.”

✔︎ Muscovites Say Developer Profits and Money Laundering Is Behind Home Demolition Scheme
(Moscow Times)

✔︎ Soviet-era buildings were only expected to last for a few decades
(BBC)

✔︎ Moscow Officials Vote on Home Demolition Plan Despite Prosecutors’ Warnings
(Moscow Times)

✔︎ Moscow's suburbs look monolithic, but the stories they tell are not
(The Guardian - June 2015)



- ‘Trump is Again OURS,’ Moscow Commentators Say
(Window on Eurasia)
"There has been yet another mood swing in Moscow about Donald Trump. After his election, Russian officials and commentators celebrated that event as a breakthrough for Russia. Then, after he came to office and took positions, Moscow didn’t like, many Russians dismissed him as a remake of Barack Obama as far as their country is concerned."
--
  "But now in the wake of Donald Trump’s firing of the FBI director and his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russians again are expressing confidence that the US president will pursue policies they like and are declaring openly that “Trump is again OURS. Hurrah!”"

- Putin Mocks Trump For Sharing Intel With Russians
(Newsweek | Time)
--



- Russian intelligence is at (political) war
(NATO Review)
"President Vladimir Putin - a former officer of the Soviet Union’s KGB and then director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) - regards the security service personnel as among his closest allies and most useful instruments."



- Russian government promotes conspiracy surrounding murdered DNC staffer
(The Hill)



In Rural Siberia, the Hospital Comes To You
(Newsweek)
"The Saint Lukas train doesn’t accept passengers—it accepts only the sick. The Saint Lukas is one of five government-funded medical trains that travel to remote towns in central and eastern Russia. Each stop lasts an average of two days, and during that time the doctors and nurses on board provide rural populations with basic medical care, X-ray scans, prescriptions and referrals to seek specialist help. … Russian local government and state rail services have operated the five trains since 2010.”
"The Saint Lukas has increased the number of stops it makes each year from the 55 it made on its first journey a decade ago to 75 today. For 10 months every year, the train stops at about eight stations over two weeks, before returning to the regional capital to refuel and restock. Then it starts all over again the next month. Most stations wait about a year between visits."



- The Race to Be Putin’s Next Prime Minister Is Heating Up
(Carnegie Moscow Center)
"The competition for the prime ministership—and for the control over the country’s economic future that comes with the job—is already kicking into high gear, all the more so after the anti-corruption protests that took place across Russia on March 26. The opposition is fast making corruption the central theme of the 2018 election, and many activists are pointing the finger directly at Dmitry Medvedev. This is creating a surprising anti-Medvedev coalition made up of the opposition and large swaths of the political elite."

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