Dores Hertampf, head of an OSCE mission in Estonia, intends to terminate his activities, and make a related report to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, December 13. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe deems mission work no longer necessary after Estonia's parliament amended this week laws on parliamentary and local self-government elections to abolish language qualifications for nominees of all levels. Now, the Estonian legislation has been brought into conformity with the country's international pledges in that particular field. The Tallinn-based independent human rights information centre is badly alarmed with prospects for the mission to leave. Parliament intends soon to amend a legal act on the local self-government procedure and so outlaw official Russian-language proceedings in Estonia's northeast despite its ethnic Russian predominance, warns a centre spokesman. At present, a majority of local self-government proceedings in that part of the country are conducted in Russian.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land