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FM Review, May 6, - Meeting with executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Tibor Toth in New York, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia supports the work of the CTBTO in building up a verification regime for nuclear testing.

Paet stated that an effective monitoring system helps to achieve security regarding the appropriate use of nuclear energy and nuclear testing. “Uniting the restriction of nuclear arms and the ban on nuclear testing is necessary to increase the nuclear safety of the world, but it must happen alongside global security measures with monitoring systems being made more effective,” said Paet. “Building up the system will hopefully give additional security to nations that have not yet joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is essential that the international community be provided with information on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” noted the Estonian foreign minister.

Eight other countries still not ready to join the euro area

European Commission, May 12, 2010 – Six years after it joined the EU, Estonia meets the requirements for adopting the euro.
The commission announced today that it would recommend that EU governments let the country switch to the currency in January next year. Estonia, which currently uses the kroon, would become the 17th nation to adopt the euro.

11 May (BNS) - Estonia's Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts and the European Union co-ordinator for the Rail Baltica project Pavel Telicka agreed at a meeting on May 11, that a passenger train link between Tallinn and Warsaw could realistically be launched within the next few years.
Parts said what this takes is co-operation and will among the three Baltic states and the European Commission, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economy and Communications report.

German investors await an improvement in the economy sector of the three Baltic States and plan further investments in capital and persona this year, as to the yearly survey conducted by the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce (AHK).
“Secure future prospects are positively reflected in plans for investment and employment – more than two-thirds of business investments will be at the same or a higher level this year. Moreover, around 20 percent of businessmen are planning to increase their employee numbers,” the President of the German-Baltic Chamber of Commerce in Latvia Jorg Tumat told reporters on May 12.

Pianist Mihkel Poll in NY Estonian House
For music critics, these nights are rather Estonia-shing. On Wednesday (May 5), the Church of Ignatius Loyola performed Arvo Pärt’s Miserere and Beatitudes in the charming Jesuit church. Last night (May 7), in the equally charming, virginal white concert hall of Estonian House, on East 34th Street, the stunning 23-year-old Estonian pianist Mihkel Poll performed, amongst other works, two works by three Estonian composers. (Explanation later.)
And obviously, as conductor Neeme Järvi once assured me in an interview, “The wealth of music from my country is greater than anyone knows.”  That may well be true.

Washington, DC (JBANC) -The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is pleased to announce that it will co-sponsor a full-day conference with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on the soon-to-be released NATO Strategic Concept. The event will take place on Friday, May 21, 2010 at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

When I heard they were finally beginning to tear down the old Eesti Kunstiakadeemia building downtown, my first thought was, "Will they think to move the wonderful little oak by the front door?" It was more like a sculptural element, somehow bonsai-like, if simply due to being dwarfed and boxed-in by the huge Soviet clunker of a building surrounding it.
It turns out Estonian artists and their protegees have been gathering at Tartu maantee 1 on the corner of Laikmaa (after the Impressionist painter Ants Laikmaa) since 1917. The school was founded in 1914 and has had many names, the most famous acronyms of recent times being ERKI (Eesti Riiklik (State) Kunstiinstituut) during the Soviet era and now EKA.

A novel written in Finnish about the Estonian tragedy has become a bestseller in Finland. Sofi Oksanen born January 7, 1977  in Jyväskyla,  draws on her Estonian connection on her mother’s side to put a face on Estonia’s suffering, much like Anne Frank’s diary put a face on the Holocaust. The book, titled Puhdistus in Finnish, Puhastus in Estonian, and Purge in English has sold 150,000 copies in Finland. A similar success in the U.S. would translate into nine million. It’s going to be translated into 31 languages. Ms. Oksanen earned the biggest award in Nordic countries, the Nordic Council 2010 Literary Prize, and also the highest honor that Finland can bestow on an author, the Finlandia Award.
Ms. Oksanen’s U.S. book tour brought her to the Finnish Embassy in Washington on April 26, 2010. 

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