The government decided to continue preparations for a further investigation into the 1994 Estonia ferry disaster as well as for consultations with Finland and Sweden, at the Cabinet meeting on Thursday (October 1).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said the government deems it necessary to conduct a further investigation into the Estonia ferry in relation to new information made public at the start of this week concerning a previously undocumented tear in the ship's hull, a spokesperson for the government said.
"We will continue work in cooperation with Finland and Sweden to clarify all issues that have arisen in the light of the new information. It is extremely important that the new inquiry is independent, transparent and reliable," Ratas said.
The prime minister underscored the new investigation must also take into account previous probes into the sinking of the ferry and be carried out in compliance with the 1995 M/S Estonia grave peace agreement.
The state secretary gave the government an independent and impartial overview of preparations for the investigation. The government endorsed continued preparations for the probe and tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with holding consultations with Swedish and Finnish authorities.
The government had already decided previously that the new inquiry must be carried out in cooperation with the mentioned authorities.
The Government Office was tasked by the government with informing Estonian organizations representing victims' closest living relatives of the government's decision and hearing their proposals.
The government will continue discussing preparations for the investigation next week.
A film crew that made a documentary about the 1994 M/S Estonia ferry disaster for the Discovery television channel while diving near the wreck found a four-meter-long hole in the hull of the ship, which had previously been partially covered by the seabed.
Editor: Roberta Vaino