Estonia Current Affairs

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Kersti Kaljulaid elected as first female President of Estonia

The parliament of Estonia has elected Kersti Kaljulaid (46) as the President of the Baltic country. With this, she became Estonia’s first female president.

She had won vote 81-0, with 20 members absent in the parliamentary voting. She will be Estonia’s fifth President and is due to take office on 10 October 2016. She is also the youngest person to get elected as President of Estonia.

About Kersti Kaljulaid

  • Kersti Kaljulaid is trained biologist specialising in genetics and also holds an MBA from University of Tartu.
  • In the late 1990s she had worked as investment banker at Hansapank that was later taken over by Swedbank.
  • In 1999, she had joined the office of then Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar as an economic policy adviser.
  • Since May 2011, she was serving as the representative of Estonia in the European Court of Auditors (ECA).

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Ukraine crisis: NATO suspends civilian and military co-operation with Russia

Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, NATO suspended all practical civilian and military co-operation with Russia.  Russia’s annexation is being considered as a threat to European security.

The 28-member NATO bloc gathered in Brussels (Belgium) for their first meeting since Russia’s annexation of Crimea and stalwartly condemned Russia’s ‘illegal’ annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region. NATO is also considering options like situating permanent military bases in the Baltic States, to restore confidence amongst the members in Eastern Europe.

Why NATO is suspending civilian and military co-operation with Russia?

Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region was being considered the solemnest hazard to European security for quite sometime. Russia’s of Ukraine’s Crimea region has now fazed nerves in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which were a part of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Baltic States which were a part of Soviet Union like Ukraine, whose Crimean territory was recently annexed by Russia, also fear an annexation in future.

The map below shows the position of Ukraine, Crimea region, Russia and Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in RED.

Russia-Ukraine-Crimea-Baltic States

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty (signed on 4 April 1949). The organization comprises a system of collective defence through which its member states accord to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external threat.

  • Formation: April 4, 1949
  • Type: Military alliance
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Membership: 28 states
  • Members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA

Baltic States

Baltic States or countries are 3 northern European countries east of the Baltic Sea – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which attained independence from the Russian Empire in the backwash of World War I. In the period between the World Wars, the Baltic States also included Finland.

  • Membership: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

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Belgium became second country to allow Mercy Killing for children

The Catholic country, Belgium became the first country to allow euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age. This action of legalizing death for the children came 12 years after the country legalized euthanasia for adults. The Parliament of Belgium took the decision in spite of opposition from the Church and some paediatricians.

  • Belgium became the second country after Netherlands to allow mercy-killing for children and the first to lift all age restrictions. 

Under the approved legislation by the Parliament, a young child will be allowed to end their life with the help of a doctor. The legislation has not fixed any age limit for minors suffering from a terminal illness to opt for the death by use of a lethal injection.

Other European countries that allows active euthanasia are:-

  • Luxembourg: Permits active euthanasia for over 18 years in age.
  • Switzerland: Doctors help adult patients to commit suicide. 
About Euthanasia
  • Refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
  • Forms of euthanasia: Active and passive euthanasia
  • Active euthanasia: when the medical professionals, or another person, deliberately do something that causes the patient to die.
  • Passive euthanasia:  when the patient dies because the medical professionals either don’t do something necessary to keep the patient alive, or when they stop doing something that is keeping the patient alive.
  • Jurisdictions where euthanasia or assisted suicide is legal: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Albania, and the US states of Washington, Oregon and Montana.

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