TALLINN, Sep 19, BNS – The government of Finland has decided to raise the size of the annual allowance paid to Estonian volunteers who fought with the Finnish army in World War II to 2,000 euros from the present 590 euros.
The increase in the allowance for Estonian volunteers who fought with Finnish forces in 1941-1944 has been set out in Finland’s state budget, Iltalehti newspaper said. The paper said that Finnish veterans of war have been receiving that allowance since 2011.
Markku Seppa, managing director of the Union of Finnish Veterans of War, said that the increase in the allowance for Estonian volunteers demonstrates that the Finnish government is taking care also of the kindred-nation volunteers living abroad.
Seppa added that Estonian volunteers still alive numbered less than 50.
Estonia will accept the invitation by Belarus to send observers to the Zapad military drill to be jointly held by Russian and Belarusian armed forces this September, the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces has stated.
Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces General Riho Terras has said this week in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht newspaper that Zapad exercises have taken place for decades already, also during the Soviet times.
Terras noted that this summer, Belarus and Russia have already conducted preparatory joint exercises testing communications in July and currently a demonstrative drill is taking place in Pskov, not far from Estonia and Latvia.
«It is important that we know what is going on. (..) That we know in detail what is going on, that we keep track of it and be prepared. But we must also be prepared when exercises aren’t being conducted. I don’t think that anything will occur in the framework of field exercises which could spill over to our side or which we will tangibly be able to see,» ERR cited Terras as evaluating in the interview.