The Reform Party has submitted a proposal to the Tallinn city council to establish a study scholarship for 10 Belarusian students at Tallinn University and Tallinn University of Technology.
The Reform Party MP who drew up the proposal, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, said that, in addition to verbal statements of support, the Reform Party considers it important to offer real support to Belarusians in the wake of a crackdown on protests in that country following the reelection of Alexander Lukashenko as president last month.
"Five scholarships to study at Tallinn University, and five scholarships to study at the Tallinn University of Technology ,would be real support for the transformation of Belarusian society and would give the country's young people a view of the free world," Pentus-Rosimannus said.
According to the proposa, a total of €50,000 would be allocated from the city government reserve fund to finance the studies of the 10 students. The volume of the city government reserve fund is €995,000 for this year.
The explanatory memorandum to the bill states that the process of moving towards democracy in Belarusian society will require people who know the structure and management of a democratic state in the coming years. There are two universities in Tallinn that offer education in this area. The admission of students starting studies with the support of the scholarship is decided by Tallinn University and Tallinn University of Technology.
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said Thursday that while Estonia was open to Belarusian IT firms relocating in the country, this did not apply to individuals.
Enterprise Estonia told ERR News last week that it has so far made offers to two companies. Latvia announced earlier this week that 12 companies are in the process of relocating and 60 have expressed an interest in moving to Lithuania.
Lithuania, which borders Belarus, is weighing up offering as many as 100 scholarships to Belarusian students, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT's English-language page reports.
Editor: Roberta Vaino