neljapäev, september 13, 2007

Päeva Komm

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.

My thoughts:

* 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.

9 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

“For instance, the conspiracy with the illegitimate Bolsheviks government in 1920 that allowed that illegitimate regime staying in power; [...] Besides, Estonia must recognize the fact of gross violation of the procedure of withdrawing from the Soviet Union.”

Wow.

plasma-jack ütles ...

See ongi see vene hing, millest me nii palju kuulnud oleme. Orwell nimetas seda kaksisoimaks. Eesti on süüdi niihästi kommunismi toetamises kui selle õõnestamises, MOTT.

Flasher T ütles ...

Heh, Regnum's website is awesome: the article on Americans one-upping the Russians with an even bigger non-nuke runs with a montage of a mushroom cloud over an Iranian flag. Subtle.

But an interesting related point, will post about this...

Giustino ütles ...

Plasma,

I decided to leave that bit out. As far as I recall there was a civil war in Russia, which Lenin won. By 1920, the Tsar and all his progeny were dead. Estonians didn't kill them.

Why do the Russians have buyer's remorse over their revolutions? Yeltsin was America's fault, now Lenin is Estonia's fault? Couldn't it all be their own fault.

I left out that Stalin was a Georgian. So I guess the purges are their fault ;)

Rainer ütles ...

Giustino, haven't you found out yet that ALL Russia's problems are somebody else's fault? By default...

karLos ütles ...

By default...

which is why even if you get russia to agree that incorporation was not voluntary, they'll just change history again down the track, unsign a few treaties and throw a few leaking nuclear subs into the baltic along the estonian coast line to patrol their shiny new pipeline... which is why it should never be built.

Juan Manuel ütles ...

I think the only Milton Friedman lover in the government coalition is Laar, not least because he won the MF price. If I understood him well, yesterday he criticized the new budget because there was too much spending.

Ansip is acting responsibly because it would be hard to explain to the Germans why Gazprom should not be allowed to do some research down there. If Laar was the prime minister he would be forced to do the same thing.

Flasher T ütles ...

Ansip is acting responsibly because it would be hard to explain to the Germans why Gazprom should not be allowed to do some research down there.

I think the official line here is "You know bloody well why". We know they are trying to stay on Russia's good side, but let's not presume incompetence from Gerry. This is the first time in recent memory where Russia has badly needed a favour from Estonia, a favour which we have been quite free to not grant if we chose to. I'm not saying we should sabotage the pipeline out of spite, but let's milk the opportunity for all it's worth.

Giustino ütles ...

Laar loves the sinine-must-valge a bit more than Uncle Milty, Juanma. His base are the patriots/nationalists. Ansip's base has always been (before Bronze Soldier fiasco) the business class, which is why he's PM.

If Edgar Savisaar wasn't feared by every guy with an honest buck in Estonia, he'd probably be PM. The Scandinavian business class does not like Mr. Savisaar. The Scandinavian-owned banks and media don't like him that much either.