Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 143

Estonian prime minister Tiit Vahi and Ukrainian ambassador in Tallinn Yuri Oliinichenko discussed November 27 mutual support among the two countries in international organizations. Oliinichenko conveyed a message from Ukrainian prime minister Yevhen Marchuk, expressing thanks for Estonian support and confirming that Ukraine in turn supports Estonia’s foreign policy. Vahi expressed concern that "Russia’s actions don’t reflect any wish on its part to settle relations with its neighbor in a democratic manner." The two men also noted that the recent bilateral free trade treaty can make Estonia into a bridge for Ukraine to Nordic countries’ markets, while opening Ukraine’s large market to Estonian firms. A similar free trade treaty went into effect between Lithuania and Ukraine and Lithuania last week. The sides will impose no customs duties, quantitative quotas, or restrictive regulations of any kind on goods produced on the territory of one country and exported to the other for use there. (11)

Last week in Kiev the presidents of Ukraine and Latvia, Leonid Kuchma and Guntis Ulmanis, also discussed mutual support in foreign policy and cooperation within a "common economic space" from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The notion that this constitutes a region in its own right, described as an "inter-marium" (between the Seas) or as the Ponto-Baltic Isthmus, is traditional in European geopolitics. Strivings for regional cooperation reflect both economic calculation and the wish to keep Russian influence out.

Belarusian Court Upholds 50 Percent Threshold.