In case you missed it: August 15-21

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu addressing the United Nations Security Council.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu addressing the United Nations Security Council. Source: Minstry of Foreign Affairs.

With readers often having hectic lifestyles, it can be easy to miss what's been going on in Estonia this week. Here's a snapshot of some of the highlights.

 President Kersti Kaljulaid may run for office of OECD Secretary-General 

President Kersti Kaljulaid may run for the post of Secretary-General of the inter-governmental body the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) next summer it was revealed on Friday.


Estonia raises Belarus at United Nations Security Council

Estonia and the United States initiated a discussion about the situation in Belarus and its possible effects on peace and security in Europe at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday.

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu also spoke to Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Thursday, expressing his concern about the situation in that country in the wake of repressions of non-violent demonstrators.

On Friday, Reinsalu and Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics agreed to establish joint sanctions targeted at Belarusian officials responsible for election fraud and violence used to suppress peaceful protests in Belarus.

The government also agreed this week that Estonia does not recognize the results of Belarusian elections.


Sveta Grigorjeva: I dream of a country where everyone can dream big

On Thursday Estonia celebrated it's Day of Restoration of Independence. At the president's annual reception a speech was given by poet Sveta Grigorjeva who Estonia has done well since regaining its independence, but is still far from being a seamless society and a country where an Estonian-Russian cashier could become the prime minister.

President Kersti Kaljulaid warned against losing too many societal freedoms, both under the guise of coronavirus precautions and in general.

Former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves suggested renaming the day "Continuation Day", saying it better reflects the events that took place on August 20, 1991.


Estonia launches coronavirus exposure notification app 'HOIA'

Estonia's coronavirus exposure notification app "HOIA" launched on August 20 and is now available to download. ERR News spoke to Priit Tohver, Ministry of Social Affairs adviser in the field of e-services and innovation, to find out what the app does and how you can use it.


Government approves testing as an alternative to 14-day quarantine 

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the government decided to allow rapid testing for individuals entering the country instead of the existing 14-day quarantine period. A test has to be taken when entering the country and a second test has to be given two weeks after.


Reps: If one student is infected, whole class will start distance learning

Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center) said all schools in Estonia will start as usual in September but changes will be made regarding opening ceremonies and if one student in the classroom becomes infected with COVID-19, the whole class will move to distance learning.


Defense minister: Estonian Defense Forces safe in Mali despite coup

Estonian Defense Forces serving in Mali are safely in their bases, Minister of Defense Jüri Luik said on Wednesday morning. An apparent coup in the country has seen the president step down and the military seize power.


US Senate report uncovers Louis Freeh's connections with Russia authorities

Louis Freeh, former FBI director and leader of the American law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan - hired to provide legal services to the Estonian state in international money laundering investigations - had several contacts with Russian authorities and a company involved with money laundering, as stated in an United States Senate report.


Center Party has paid back €110,000 forbidden donation

The Center Party has paid into the state budget more than €110,000, equaling the amount of a donation made to the party which has been deemed as a forbidden donation.


Statistics: 7,777 births registered to July 2020, falling trend continues

A little under 7,800 live births were registered in Estonia to July 2020. The birth rate on this basis will continue the trend in recent years towards a fall, as well as a lag behind the death rate.

The first-ever future strategy is being developed in Estonia, aiming to set guidelines until 2035 for the actions needed to ensure the sustainability of the Estonian population. 


Mart Helme seeking €50,000 from Tarand, Ilves for alleged slander

Mart Helme, deputy chairman of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), has sent a warning of legal action to former MEP Indrek Tarand and ex-president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, demanding that both retract alleged slander within 10 days, stop the dissemination of incorrect information, and compensate him for non-material damage in the amount of €50,000.

But Tarand told ERR that claims according to which he has received a letter from Helme are false.


Information System Authority: In essence, TikTok a security threat

The Information System Authority (RIA) has barred its employees from using TikTok, a social media app which has conquered most of the world, and is recommending everyone consider the consequences of downloading the app, which RIA says presents a security threat, onto their device.


Sillamäe's city center to become heritage conservation area

The city center of the northeast Estonian industrial city of Sillämae, executed in the style of Stalinist architecture, stands to become the first heritage conservation area in Ida-Viru County and the first area where Soviet architecture is under protection in Estonia.


Port of Tallinn planning to build public pools near Old City Harbor

The Port of Tallinn has initiated a detailed plan to build public swimming pools in the sea near Vööri tänav near the Old City Harbor.


Tallinn's public transport system to scrap paper tickets

Tallinn city government has decided to discontinue the sale of paper tickets in the city's public transport system. They are mostly bought by tourists.


Theater, cinema, concert hall audience restrictions end from September

Theaters, cinemas and concert halls will be permitted to operate at full audience capacity from September, culture minister Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) has said.


Latvia's cross-border alcohol trade is flourishing again

Despite the lowering of the alcohol excise duty and travel restrictions implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus, Latvia's cross border trade is going well.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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