The Baltic Times
Estonia celebrated its 90th anniversary of independence on Feb. 23-24. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, along with over 10,000 other people, attended a military parade in Parnu, the largest ever held by Estonia”s armed forces. A total of 1,081 troops marched in the celebration along with members of the Kaitseliit volunteer defense organization. During a speech in Tallinn, Ilves stressed Estonia”s progress and having overcome the “teenage” years of its existence. He also mentioned the need to focus on “lasting values” and from such encourage family formation while increasing the birth rate. “This gives us hope, but no more than that,” said Ilves. A ceremony also took place in a small village in Parnu County to remember the republic”s first president, Konstantin Pats, at his birthplace. Estonia first proclaimed its independence in 1918.
The ultranationalist contender for the Russian presidency and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, suggested in a press conference that the Russian speaking communities of northeastern Estonia should annex themselves to the Kaliningrad exclave or proclaim autonomy. Referencing the recentlyproclaimed independence of Kosovo, he said that Russians living in Estonia and particularly the regions of Narva and Kohtla-Jarve have every right to form their own selfresponsible form of government outside of the Estonian state. Zhirinovsky voiced support for the “longcompact communities” to align themselves with the Kaliningrad Russian enclave on the Baltic or to create their own Russian republic.
The mobile network company EMT is under investigation by the Estonian prosecutor”s office over files that were allegedly lost pertaining to government phone tapping. Retaining such files concerning legal wiretaps is required by law in order to help avoid the occurrence of unlawful instances of phone surveillance. The information in question collected by security and surveillance agencies may have been lost due to a software update or malfunction; it runs over a period of close to five months during the summer and fall of 2006. A parliamentary committee that ordered the investigation confirmed that the agencies that eavesdropped into the conversations still have access to the said information.