Ilves invites Putin for cultural learnings of Estonia

The Baltic Times
Wire Reports, TALLINN
2006. gada 16. novembris.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said the Baltic state”s invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit remains in place, despite tense relations between the neighboring nations.

“The invitation for President Putin to visit Estonia, extended by our previous head of state Arnold Ruutel, will stay in effect,” Ilves told a regional newspaper on Nov. 9.

He said he hoped to talk with Putin about a new bridge in the border city of Narva, economic relations, border treaties, energy policy and cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.

Ilves said any such meeting would not include a discussion about Russia returning Estonia”s prewar badge of office, which is kept in a Moscow museum, nor would Ilves request an apology for Estonia”s years of Soviet occupation.

Also on Nov. 9, the Estonian media engaged in a bout of lampooning the newlyelected president over a photo taken in the 1980s.

The photo, which was published in the widelyread Eesti Ekspress newspaper, depicts a young Ilves with a thick black moustache.

The image closely resembles that of Borat, the satirical Kazakh character played by comedian Sasha Baron Cohen.

“Ei ole Borat,” (“It”s not Borat!) reads the Eesti Ekspress caption.