Week in pictures: January 19-25
At the beginning of the week, EDM Machinery launched the first 3D printer designed and built in Estonia. The new 2,500-euro printer is aimed at research and innovation intensive businesses and
will soon be featured in international expos.
The outdoor media campaign season drew to a close on Monday night. Under the Election Act, candidates, logos, other distinguishing marks or platforms of parties may no longer be advertised in public areas. The election campaign now enters the active campaigning phase, characterized by public debates and speedy home visits.
The University of Tartu professor and the legal adviser to the president, Ülle Madise, was confirmed as the next chancellor of justice on Tuesday. Madise will take up the position in March, succeeding the current chancellor Indrek Teder. The chancellor of justice, also known as the legal ombudsman, is empowered by the Constitution to make sure that laws and regulations are constitutional, and that government offices and officials do not violate the constitutional rights of individuals.
On Wednesday, it was also announced that the 5-year and 36-million-euro project to make two oil shale waste mountains of Ida-Viru county environmentally safe has finally come to completion. After being covered with water-proof bentonite mar and compressed semi-coke, the mountains in Kohta-Järve and Kiviõli are no longer a source of water and air pollution.
It had been known for months that at least one person from Estonia is fighting for ISIS in Syria, but the identity of this individual was only made public by the ETV's investigative TV program "Pealtnägija" on Wednesday evening. The Estonian ISIS recruit is a 31-year-old Muslim convert from Tallinn, formerly known as Ivan Sazakanov, but now going by the name of Abdurrahman Azan. It is believed that the father of two met his recruiters in Egypt, where he is said to have studied Arabic.
Eesti Päevaleht recently also wrote about an Estonian who has joined the Kurdish military force People's Protection Unit (YPG), which fights against ISIS in the Rojava region.
Estonian Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus opened the new Estonian Embassy building in Beijing. The newly opened building, only the third purpose-built Estonian embassy ever, will compete at the local architecture competition for the Concrete Building of the Year award. The embassy was designed by Estonian architects Andres Põime, Lauri Vaimeli ja Liisa Põime.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also made the news several times last week for his severely worded statements. During a press conference in Moscow, Lavrov said that the reason behind Barack Obama's Estonia visit last September was to annoy Russians, rather than friendly bilateral relationship between USA and Estonia. “But can you imagine how much offense has one actually caused to Estonia, by saying that the sole reason to visit your country is to screw Russians – excuse me by using this unpleasant expression,” Lavrov added. In other news, he also noted that the border treaty between Estonia and Russia could be ratified soon. The treaty has been in works for 22 years.
On Friday, the Italian ex-MEP Giulietto Chiesa returned to Estonia as his entry ban expired. Chiesa was sent out of Estonia in mid-December, when he was due to attend the meeting of pro-Kremlin
Impressum media club. Chiesa has taken the interior ministry to court over the decision. The Ministry of the Interior said the month-long ban was connected to his justifications of crimes against humanity, especially the actions of Arnold Meri, who has confessed his participation in the mass deportations in 1949. The ministry decided not to renew the ban, as they thought this might only aid Chiesa's cause. The Impressum media club, however, found it difficult to rent rooms after the bad press they have received in connection to bans put on their invited speakers.