Opinion

Ilmar Raag: Soviet tank sign of no empathy for Eastern Europe

17.08.22 OPINION ... Through all the new manifestations of Russian imperialism, a defiant idea has been forming in the minds of many Estonians: this time, we will fight back. The Russian empire may still be stronger than us, and war is never pretty. But we have nothing to lose and we will fight back no matter what. The removal of the [Narva] tank is only a small part of that same preparedness, Ilmar Raag writes.

President: Tanks not needed to remember the fallen when we have graveyards

16.08.22 OPINION ... Tanks are not needed to remember the fallen when there are graves and graveyards, President Alar Karis said on Tuesday, after the removal of the Soviet T-34 tank monument from Narva. Karis believes a line should now be drawn under the issue.

Keit Kasemets: Russian citizens' access to the EU needs to be curbed

16.08.22 OPINION ... Europe will never be able to individually identify every relative, child and lover of Russian politicians, top officials and military leaders to put on black lists. Because of this, a broader ban on entry is necessary, Keit Kasemets writes.

English-language Opinion Festival panel on how to deal with misinformation

14.08.22 NEWS ... An English-language panel at this weekend's Opinion Festival (Arvamusfestival) in Paide focused on misinformation, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine from February 24.

Karoliina Ainge: Russian visa ban would demonstrate Europe's values

12.08.22 OPINION ... Both the war in Ukraine as well as the next bloody conquests of Vladimir Putin's regime can only be stopped by major shifts in Russian society. A ban on tourist visas is just one part of that, but with it, Europe would be demonstrating its values, writes Karoliina Ainge.

Marin Mõttus: encourage young Estonians abroad to study and work in Estonia

10.08.22 OPINION ... Young Estonians studying abroad often have a desire to come (back) to Estonia after their studies, but in the time they spend outside the country, they either establish their professional network abroad or are unable to develop one in Estonia. At the same time, Estonian employers are increasingly interested in hiring people with international experience and a network of (professional) contacts, writes Marin Mõttus, director general of the Department of the Global Estonian Diaspora and Cultural Diplomacy at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kristel Birgit Potsepp: Young people need more mental health support

09.08.22 NEWS ... In Estonia, the birth rate, and attempts to artificially increase it through the provision of various subsidies, is a hot topic. However, it is also important to think about children growing up in a safe environment and receiving the required support even when their parents or carers are unable to provide it, writes Kristel Birgit Potsepp (SDE).

Raul Rebane: Different songs, different monuments

08.08.22 OPINION ... There is no symbol of war as strong as a tank. These days, they also have an additional meaning: to justify Russia's policy, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Reinsalu: Putin and Russia must bear legal liability for Ukraine genocide

08.08.22 NEWS ... Russia must bear legal responsibility for the aggression in Ukraine at the highest political and military levels, including that of the president, Vladimir Putin, foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says.

President Karis: Narva tank now symbol of much more, belongs in museum

05.08.22 OPINION ... While not too long ago I still thought it might be sufficient to add a plaque explaining the history to the tank on the bank of the Narva River, this is no longer enough. A pedestal alongside the road connecting Narva and Narva-Jõesuu is no place for a World War II tank; a museum is, writes Estonian President Alar Karis.

Kersna: 13 notes from reality of the switch to Estonian-language education

02.08.22 OPINION ... Many young people's educational and employment options alike are limited by their subpar Estonian language proficiency. Education should be providing everyone with equal opportunities, but our system continues to consistently generate inequality, ex-education minister Liina Kernsa writes.

Kaarel Tarand: Katri and the tank

01.08.22 OPINION ... The wise do not make choices that spark anger and leave their career in tatters, Kaarel Tarand writes in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

Kaupo Meiel: The best monument is a nonexistent one

31.07.22 OPINION ... The days of the removal and rethinking of Soviet monuments could serve as an opportunity to look to the future and abandon altogether the practice of creating political and ideological monuments of dedication, ERR opinion editor Kaupo Meiel finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Mart Erik: LULUCF is still suffocating the Estonian forest sector

31.07.22 OPINION ... Even if we continue re-generational felling at the current rate, our forests will reach their peak carbon sequestration age by 2050, writes forest grower Mart Erik, in response to a high-ranking official.

Marten Kokk: Estonian forestry was not cut down in Europe

31.07.22 OPINION ... Marten Kokk, ambassador and permanent representative of Estonia to COREPER I, clarifies what was and was not decided at the meeting of environment ministers in Luxembourg last month that fuels the long-lasting debate in Estonia over whether forest felling is sustainable.

Benjamin Klasche: What is wrong with Germany?

29.07.22 OPINION ... By thinking that imperialism and colonialism are things of the faraway past, Germany has approached Russia like most other developing democracies, but Russia has nonetheless stuck with its imperialist identity — and fully embraced it, writes Tallinn University (TLÜ) political science and international studies lecturer Benjamin Klasche.

Jaak Aaviksoo: The good practice of lynching Peep Peterson

28.07.22 OPINION ... No one explicitly calls Peep Peterson a corrupt politician, but it is "good practice" to be wary of him. Should the labor minister leave the room when it comes to discussion of working conditions or minimal wages? Or should he refrain from using the term "trade unions" and renounce trade union positions in order to "restore confidence"? None of this makes sense, says Jaak Aaviksoo.

Tõnis Saarts: Kaja Kallas needs to get her 'backroom' working

27.07.22 OPINION ... While Kaja Kallas might be successful and prominent on the foreign policy arena, the prime minister is first and foremost expected to cope in domestic politics and keep the coalition government together, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Martin Mölder: New face of the coalition

26.07.22 OPINION ... The differences between the ruling parties were reflected clearly in their choice of ministers. The Reform Party chose to stick with tried and tested people, while both Isamaa and the Social Democrats (SDE) made much more strategic use of the government change, Martin Mölder finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Jaanus Aun: Gas related worries overshadow environmental goals

25.07.22 OPINION ... Biofuel is the only realistic alternative for optimizing the exploitation of logging byproducts and low-quality trunk wood, writes Jaanus Aun, the chief of the Estonian Private Forest Union (EPFU).

Central bank governor: Time of negative Eurozone interest rates over

22.07.22 OPINION ... Overly rapid price advance is like a devious tax that hinders the normal functioning of the economy and that no voter or politician has supported. This is something all policymakers should keep in mind, Governor of the Bank of Estonia Madis Müller writes.

Erik Gamzejev: Moving to Ida-Viru County a patriotic act

21.07.22 OPINION ... Educated people moving to Ida-Viru County could be considered a patriotic act. It would give regional development new momentum and reinforce pro-Estonian sentiment, Erik Gamzejev notes in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Raul Rebane: Local, national and international

19.07.22 OPINION ... Politicians should carry a marshal's baton in their knapsack and strive for international competency. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Concentrating narrowly on the Estonian level was also visible during coalition talks, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Meelis Münt: Half-way point to nuclear plant decision

19.07.22 OPINION ... Nuclear energy can ensure 24-hour power supply that is not dependent on the weather and its implementation in Estonia has been discussed for years. However, the decision requires serious consideration on which path we are only nearing the first milestone in September. The decision whether a nuclear plant could be a good fit for Estonia can only be made based on the [nuclear energy working group's] final report due in late 2023, Meelis Münt writes.

Maarja Vaino: Transition to an Estonian society

18.07.22 OPINION ... The transition to so-called Estonian education must happen hand in hand with a transition to an Estonian society, Maarja Vaino finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Kalev Stoicescu: The nature of Russia

14.07.22 OPINION ... The liars are telling the truth, while those who speak of facts and common sense are lying, Kalev Stoicescu writes on the Kremlin's view of Russia.

Kaarel Tarand: House full of social heat and light

13.07.22 OPINION ... Kaarel Tarand asks in Vikerraadio's daily comment whether sides to the incoming coalition have taken into account, in their promise to compensate residents for energy expenses on a massive scale, the fact that the population census showed that a quarter of dwellings in Estonia are uninhabited.

Environment Ministry: European climate package works in our favor

28.06.22 OPINION ... European environment ministers are meeting this week in Luxembourg to discuss how to move forward with the "Fit for 55" climate and energy package. Estonia has a lot to gain if it acts quickly and wisely, writes Kädi Ristkok, head of the Environment Ministry's climate department.

Karis: Defending peace in Europe is our fight for freedom

23.06.22 OPINION ... By helping Ukraine fight and defend itself, we are protecting Estonia and defending peace in Europe — this is our fight for freedom, said President Alar Karis in his Victory Day speech on Thursday.

Aavik: construction register disasters built-in to IT procurement contracts

21.06.22 OPINION ... As long as the public sector does not change the principles of IT procurement nor adopts the private sector's software development outsourcing model, new disasters on the scale of the construction register debacle will continue to happen, writes Andres Aavik, head of software company Flowit.

Ilmar Raag: Soviet monuments belong in the past

20.06.22 OPINION ... We are not erasing history but public space cannot force on people messages they cannot avoid and that we consensually find offensive, filmmaker Ilmar Raag writes.

NGO: not every helper is a supporter and not every supporter is a friend

18.06.22 NEWS ... It is wonderful that so many people in Estonia have taken initiative and have reached out to help the Ukrainian refugees without hesitation. However, in a communication born out of empathy and goodwill, the purpose and limits of such assistance should be agreed upon from the start in order to avoid hidden dangers and causing harm instead of good, writes Anu Viltrop from the Estonian Refugee Council.

Meelis Kiili: To discourage, or to deter?

17.06.22 OPINION ... Deterrence is not a discrete, static activity, but rather a methodical development of national defense and security in concert with allies, writes Major General Meelis Kiili of the Estonian Defense League (Kaitseliit).

Kalev Stoicescu: Ukraine's future depends on Ukraine, the West and Russia

16.06.22 OPINION ... The war in Ukraine is not just a game around Putin, against him or to save him. Its aftermath will affect the history of Europe and the region for decades to come. Ukraine's faith in the Western world may begin to crumble, and Russia will be sure to take advantage of it, writes Kalev Stoicescu.

EPL editor-in-chief: Prosecutor's office permission rule harms journalists

15.06.22 OPINION ... Two court rulings which have found that, in accordance with legislation, journalists must ask the prosecutor's office for permission to disclose the circumstances of pre-trial proceedings, have created an oppressive situation for the media in Estonia in 2022, Urmo Soonvald, editor-in-chief of portal Delfi and daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), told ERR in an interview with ERR's Marko Tooming which follows in is entirety.

Ülle Madise: Government change in light of the Constitution

15.06.22 OPINION ... The letter and spirit of the Constitution are clear when it comes to the prime minister's resignation. However, attempts are made in political debates to attach to provisions of the Constitution meaning that is not there. The first rule of interpreting the Constitution is leaving personal preferences and attitudes at the door, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise writes.

Former justice chancellor: Kallas misusing Constitution

14.06.22 OPINION ... Former Chancellor of Justice and current sworn attorney Allar Jõks says he believes that the ongoing change of government in Estonia has not taken place according to the constitutionally required format for a government overhaul, and that Kaja Kallas should resign as prime minister, then demand a new mandate.

Peter Tali: Russian General Staff has already lost the information war

14.06.22 OPINION ... Ukraine has established a narrative of its bravery and invincibility, and Russia's massive disinformation campaign has not been a success in the Western media. The Ukrainians have not yet won the information war, but the Russian General Staff has already lost it, writes Peeter Tali, colonel and former deputy head of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga, in a commentary originally published in the Riigikogu Toimetised parliamentary magazine.

Ülle Madise: The vicious circle of silence

12.06.22 OPINION ... Critical questions and different opinions are the most useful. Of course, this is only true when one is prepared to alter one's own convictions or go to the trouble of convincing those who disagree, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise writes in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

Madis Müller: Inflation would only pick up pace without interest rates hike

12.06.22 OPINION ... Because the European Central Bank's decisions are based on the economic situation of the entire eurozone, Estonia needs to take other economic policy measures to contain its even faster than average price advance, Bank of Estonia head Madis Müller writes.

Lauri Vahtre: On the election rights of non-citizens

10.06.22 OPINION ... The state must ensure that the right to vote belongs to those who have demonstrated their loyalty or in whose case it can be presumed based on general factors, Lauri Vahtre writes.

Kristian Jaani: Internal security must also be part of wider state defense

08.06.22 OPINION ... The war in Ukraine has very rightly brought more focus on the problems of internal security, and we must move forward on solutions to these with vigor, writes former interior minister Kristian Jaani.

Jaak Madison: Six months too long for EU to keep funding the Ukraine war

07.06.22 OPINION ... Every sanction imposed on Russia, or fear of sanctions, has curbed the supply of gas and oil on the world market that hikes prices. Unfortunately, the European Union, unlike China, is willing to pay this higher price, even though in rubles. Self-assertion and strength is nowhere to be seen in Europe's response, writes Jaak Madison.

Prime minister's Grotius prize speech: Need to speed up Ukraine decisions

07.06.22 POLITICS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) was awarded the 2022 Grotius prize, traveling to London Monday to collect it and hear a pre-recorded speech from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a live vote-of-thanks from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

SDE head: Isamaa to choose between a capable government and a flying circus

06.06.22 OPINION ... We are headed into extremely complicated months. It is up to Isamaa to decide whether Estonia will meet them with a capable government or a flying circus, Lauri Läänemets writes.

Erki Savisaar: Crisis requires green turn efforts be stepped up

05.06.22 OPINION ... We need to generate electricity using oil shale until we have found steerable alternatives ensuring energy and supply security as well as environmentally friendly ways of maintaining grid frequency, Minister of the Environment Erki Savisaar writes.

Jaak Aaviksoo: Bewilderment in higher education policy

05.06.22 OPINION ... A series of unresolved or at the very least undebated problems have piled up in higher education the weight of which is keeping Estonia from making necessary funding decisions. We don't know what we want, Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Alar Karis: Evil is Real: Time to stand up

03.06.22 OPINION ... What words are there when a country launches an all-out attack on its neighbor? "Evil is real," I posted on Twitter on the morning of 24 February. We must recognize the evil of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine and be more courageous in our response.

Reform whip: Coalition over if agreements worth nothing

03.06.22 OPINION ... If agreements no longer hold, the coalition has had its time. The Reform Party has made serious effort to facilitate its coalition partner's wishes in the last year and a half, even in cases where they have been voiced after mutual agreements, Mart Võrklaev writes.

Tanel Sepp: Fight for values also taking place in cyberspace

02.06.22 NEWS ... Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine, with all its atrocities, has made us think more about the democratic values we are defending. The fight for these values has already been happening in cyberspace for some time, writes diplomat Tanel Sepp.

radio tallinn

About us

ERR News is the English-language service of Estonian Public Broadcasting, run by a fully independent editorial team.

To read up on ERR News' comments rules and to contact ERR's other services, please follow the link below.

Staff, contacts & comments

donate to ukraine

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: