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Helga Merits


What do you write someone when there is no chance you are going to see each other within a short span of time?


What are you going to write when borders are closed and the person you would like to contact is out of reach?


Does everything come down to the basic question: how are you?

Starting September 1st, arrivals from COVID-19 high-risk countries to Estonia at both the Tallinn Airport and Tallinn ferry ports can take an optional coronavirus test.


If the test, which is free to Estonian residents, comes back negative, this means the 14-day quarantine period is eased, and fully lifted if a second test comes back negative.


This exemption only applies to adults.

Estonia has been given permission by the European Commission to compensate labor costs affecting shipping companies which provide international passenger transport by sea.


The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has sent the proposed reimbursement scheme to companies in that sector.

Baltic Countries Reached Agreement on Electricity Trade

On August 31, the ministries responsible for energy in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania reached an agreement to not buy electricity from third countries following the launch of the Astravyets nuclear power plant in Belarus later this year.


With the agreement, it is estimated trade between the Baltic States and third countries will be halved.


More photos here.


Estonian Americans in several communities came out to show their support for the ongoing fight for democracy in Belarus. Socially-distanced, COVID-aware rallies have been held across the U.S. in recent weeks as outrage over disputed elections and demand for change continue in Minsk and beyond.


In addition to Washington, DC, Estonian communities supported events in New York City and Lakewood, NJ.

The Estonian American National Council’s (EANC) Washington, DC Director, Karin Shuey, offered supportive remarks at two events in the nation’s capital.

Helga Merits




I’m sorry I never took a picture of my grandmother’s kitchen.


It was small, a cupboard on one side, showing her decorated cups and plates, and a small tin of sweets.


The sink was of granite.

The foreign ministers of eight Baltic and Nordic countries have issued a joint statement condemning the violent suppression of protests after long-time president Alexander Lukashenko secured his sixth term as president of Belarus on Sunday.

As stated in a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden, in the context of the developments that are taking place in Belarus, express their grave concern about the violence against post-election demonstrations that have occurred in response to reports of widespread electoral fraud.


We are very troubled by the reports of physical injuries inflicted on the demonstrators."

Swimmer Merle Liivand Sets New World Record

In celebration of Estonia's Restoration of Independence Day on August 20, Merle Liivand swam 20 kilometers in six-hours in Florida without using her hands and relying only on her "mermaid tail".


The result is yet another Guinness World Record.


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