There is some international intrigue afoot if you read between the lines of recent articles detailing the Estonian government's response to a request by Gazprom to survey the Estonian sea floor for the laying of the Nord Stream pipeline.
The first comes by way of Forbes, which reports that the Estonian government is split on the proposal, with Mart Laar-led Isamaa-Res Publica Liit solidly against the proposal, while Andrus Ansip's Reform Party in favor of allowing a survey by Gazprom.
Late last month, Eesti Ekspress discussed that the only way that Ansip's government could fall would be a collusion between IRL and Edgar Savisaar's Keskerakond. While doubtful -- Savisaar is the villain that gets IRL voters to the polls -- it noted that Edgar has lodged most of his recent attacks against Ansip, and has been quiet with regards to Laar -- who Keskerakond voters deride as a 'chipmunk'.
Finally, there is your typical, bitter, vitriolic column in Regnum that notes that Foreign Ministry Chancellor Matti Maasikas (above) was recently in Moscow and has changed some very strategic language in Estonia's longterm political goal to have Russia recognize that Estonia never voluntarily joined the USSR and that the state is not de novo, but founded in 1918.
Maasikas supposedly dropped the 'o' word (occupation) from his lexicon and instead pressed for recognition that Johannes Vares' government in 1940 was in no way legitimately elected, and that Johannes Lauristin's trip in August to request entry to the USSR was organized by Moscow. Ie. Estonia joined the USSR on a 'non-voluntary basis'. The column ponders whether or not Maasikas' change in language denotes a change in official foreign ministry policy towards Russia.
* The Reform Party may see the Gazprom offer as a way to redeem itself among the business classes in Russia and Germany after the April riots and also as a way to consolidate domestic power. They might be returning to their roots as the party of Milton Friedman-loving financial managers. It's all about the Benjamins for Reform, or rather, all about the Carl Robert Jakobsons.
* It is also could be looking to score a foreign policy goal -- recognition of 1918 statehood from Russia by softening some of the scary occupation language. Allegedly Russia doesn't want to admit it more for threat of compensation claims rather than nationalist pride.
* I personally don't think Ansip will fall because of this deal. If anything IRL could walk away from the government to remain the party of 'principles' ('principles' are very important to a segment of the Estonian voting public). That would mean Keskerakond would rejoin the government,as was originally predicted before the elections. Finally, don't forget that Ansip passed up Laar for the foreign ministry position.
On the other hand, controlling the defense ministry and economy and communications is a swell catch. In my opinion, Juhan Parts of all people had performed exceptionally well. For whatever reason, I find myself agreeing with most of what he says about the economy. Perhaps there is political life left in him afterall.