Military experts: do not rule out Russian aggression against Estonia

Postimees asked military experts about the likelihood of Estonia becoming a military target of Russia and what it may require from Estonia.

One of Estonia’s biggest military experts Leo Kunnas said that the Russian military aggression against Estonia can never be ruled out.

“Russia’s military doctrine contains provisions which enable our neighbour to consider Estonia as its enemy,” says Kunnas, adding that Russia has a wide range of pretexts that it may use to invade Estonia. “For instance it may declare that it wants to protect the interests of Russians living in Estonia or say that Estonia is in its sphere of interests or attack Estonia for being a NATO country or claim that it wants to resolve territorial claims with Estonia.”

Read more: BBN


MP: Russian transit through Estonia was like a drug

MP and member of Reform Party Igor Gräzin compares the transit with drugs and thanks god that the Estonian companies, that operated based on Russian ideology, have finished existing.

Gräzin is confident that the current economic situation had a cleansing effect on the environment of entrepreneurshipin Estonia. Today, those companies who were at the right spot at the right time, are the winners, he said. According to Gräzin, that includes companies who developed their business with foreign partners, including Russia, only based on economic standings, leaving the ideology behind, mediates

Gräzin added that majority of Russian transit had no economical background. “This was money from Russian state budget which went through oil companies to Estonian companies. At the moment the relations between Russia and Estonia worsened, the money flow ended,” he said.

Gräzin said that the companies that are running a honest and based on economic background business have great perspectives also today.

Source: BBN

Accommodation establishments did well in the 1st half of the year

According to Statistics Estonia, 38,000 tourists more used the services of accommodation establishments in the first half of the year compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the 1st half of 2008 more than one million tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, 59% of them were foreign tourists. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the number of tourists from Estonia’s main partner states in tourism — Finland, Russia, Latvia, Germany, Lithuania and Poland — increased. The number of tourists from Russia, using the services of accommodation establishments, increased the most — by one third. At the same time, less tourists from Sweden, Norway and United Kingdom stayed in accommodation establishments. By tourist regions, the number of foreign tourists increased the most in Northern and Southern Estonia (7% and 3% respectively) and decreased in Western Estonia (2%).

In the 1st half of the year 432,000 residents of Estonia stayed in accommodation establishments, which is 2% more than in the same period of previous year. A third of domestic tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Southern Estonia, but equally 26% of domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments of Northern and Western Estonia.

In June 258,000 tourists used the services of accommodation establishments of Estonia. Compared to the same period of previous year, the number of accommodated foreign tourists increased 6% and the number of accommodated domestic tourists decreased 7%. 925 accommodation establishments with 19,300 rooms and 43,200 beds were available for visitors. The room occupancy rate was 47%. Compared to June 2007, the room occupancy rate decreased by two percentage points. The average cost of a guest night in an accommodation establishment was 510 kroons. The cost of a guest night was the highest in Tallinn (653 kroons).

Accommodation by regions, June 2008

Accommodation Total Northern Estonia North-eastern Estonia Central Estonia Western Estonia Southern Estonia
Accommodation establishments 925 175 65 70 347 268
Rooms 19 315 7 952 1 629 957 5 379 3 398
Beds 43 204 16 374 3 548 2 162 12 511 8 609
Room occupancy rate, % 47 56 30 29 44 41
Bed occupancy rate, % 38 46 24 26 36 34
Tourists accommodated 258 089 128 778 13 404 10 733 60 712 44 462
Nights spent 492 336 227 040 25 227 16 612 135 091 88 366
residents of Estonia 171 675 36 871 17 289 12 579 43 098 61 838
foreign visitors 320 661 190 169 7 938 4 033 91 993 26 528
Average cost of a guest night, kroons 510 634 430 296 458 336
Source: Statistics Estonia