Ensuring Gender Equality a Priority for Estonia
2 July - In his speech at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that a society that violates and disrespects women’s rights is above all hurting itself, because a society that tolerates gender inequality blocks its own social and economic development. “I agree with former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Terry Davies, who said that it’s like football—you can’t win if you only play with half of your team,” he added.
Foreign Minister Paet stated that achieving gender equality and protecting women’s rights is still complicated in many parts of the world. “There has been some progress made in the last fifteen years, but it is fragile. Unfortunately it may vanish during crisis situations. In the context of various crises, the advancements made in gender equality and women’s rights are among the first to disappear,” he stated.
Paet asserted that prejudices must be abolished. “Ensuring gender equality continues to be one of the priority areas of Estonia’s activities in the field of human rights as well as development co-operation. Therefore several of Estonia’s development co-operation projects in Afghanistan are dedicated to improving women’s health,” he said.
In his speech, the foreign minister noted that Estonia advocates the incorporation of the gender dimension into all UN activities. “Gender issues should be taken into consideration in carrying out international missions as well as development co-operation,” Paet explained.
The foreign minister also emphasised that Estonia will continue to bring gender equality issues and the protection of women’s rights to the forefront in the UN Economic and Social Council. “In 2011 Estonia will become a member of the Commission on the Status of Women in 2011,” Paet added.
This year the discussion in the high-level meeting of ECOSOC ministers focused on achieving gender equality-related goals.
UN Development Aid System to Become More Effective as Result of Estonia-Led Negotiations
3 July - Yesterday the UN General Assembly approved a decision that contains steps for making the UN’s development aid system more effective and gives a significant boost to achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals. Intense negotiations to reach an agreement among UN member states, which were led by the Estonian and Tunisian ambassadors, went on for six months.
“I believe that we achieved the best possible outcome,” said Estonian Ambassador to the UN Tiina Intelmann. “Negotiations among 192 parties are always complicated, but fortunately all the member states agree that major efforts must be made in the next five years in order to achieve the Development Goals.”
The importance of the agreement was also noted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who emphasised that this decision by the UN General Assembly is a brave achievement that begins a new era. “I am very pleased that the negotiations led by the Estonian and Tunisian ambassadors were carried out in an inclusive, transparent and effective manner,” the UN secretary general said.
The decision also means the creation of a UN agency that will begin to address women’s rights and gender equality issues more extensively, while also implementing active and clearly targeted programmes for improving the situation of women in developing countries. “Several international studies have shown that insufficient attention to women’s health, education, and place in society is a significant hindrance to the development of many of the least economically successful nations,” explained the Estonian ambassador to the UN.
A critical look was also taken at the functioning of the entire UN development aid system, creating better opportunities for developing nations to receive development aid through UN funds and programmes in accordance with the nation’s own development actions plans and guaranteeing them more comprehensive opportunities to join in the discussions of UN decision-making bodies. Another goal is to save some money on the management of programmes.
Foreign Ministry Supports Victims of Natural Disasters and Conflict Situations
4 July - The Foreign Ministry is supporting the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) with a 900 000 kroon (57 520 EUR) donation. Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia has supported international organisations dealing with humanitarian aid with voluntary donations since 1996. “The UN Central Emergency Response Fund depends entirely on voluntary donations for financing, so the constant stream of donations for the fund to continue its work and improve the capabilities of UN humanitarian aid is absolutely necessary,” said Paet. “Estonia made its first donation to CERF in 2005. By continuing to make contributions to CERF, Estonia is showing that we take real steps to support those in need in crisis areas and improve the standard of living for people in areas that are most in need of international aid,” he stated.
The foreign minister also noted that in allocating money to those in need, CERF bases its actions on the principle that no nation will be deprived of primary humanitarian aid due to its geographically distant location or because the place has dropped out of the interest of the international community. “In providing aid, how quickly those in need receive aid is of key importance. Therefore it is important to increase the CERF’s financial preparedness, so that rescue activities could begin immediately after a disaster has occurred,” Paet explained, adding that by making a donation to CERF, Estonia is also contributing to the more rapid dispatching of aid to all those in need.
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund was created in 1991 and its goal is to allow the humanitarian aid organisations of the UN to rapidly and urgently provide the necessary aid to people who are victims of conflict situations and natural disasters.
The sum being donated was allocated from the Foreign Ministry’s 2010 budget for development and humanitarian aid.
Estonian Experts Evaluated Use of Humanitarian Aid in Haiti
5 July - Estonian humanitarian aid experts assessed the distribution of humanitarian aid in post-earthquake Haiti along with experts from Ireland, the USA and Canada. During the mission, which took place six months after the earthquake in Haiti, the activities of donors as well as the UN and other humanitarian aid-providing organisations was evaluated in the context of the principles of distributing humanitarian aid. The experts also examined whether the aid answered the actual needs of the people, whether the receivers of aid were included in the planning and distribution of aid, and whether donors supported Haiti flexibly and quickly enough.
Estonian Foreign Ministry development co-operation division diplomat Priit Turk, who participated in the mission, confirmed that the international organisations on site are generally satisfied with the developments thus far, although considering the approaching hurricane season the humanitarian situation in Haiti could deteriorate rapidly. “The camp built in Haiti with Estonia’s help is also functioning well—we received many words of praise when we were there,” Turk noted. “Since nearly six months have already passed since the earthquake, we also investigated how the transition from humanitarian aid to reconstruction activities is going. Co-ordination among the UN and other aid organisations was evaluated separately.”
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the UN’s strong co-ordination capabilities are important to Estonia and to other international donors. “Estonia is satisfied with its own quick reaction after the Haiti earthquake in January. Our aid was quick and fulfilled a need, and this was acknowledged on the international level. This is one of the reasons why Estonia can continue to be more active in the co-ordination of international humanitarian aid,” stated Paet. “Estonia is giving more attention to the effectiveness of international co-operation and aid,” he added.
“Our experience in Haiti confirmed one again that aid reaching all those who need it depends first and foremost on the readiness of various organisations to work together and co-ordinate their activities,” added Kadi Metsandi, a diplomat at Estonia’s representation in Geneva, where the co-ordination of humanitarian aid on a global level is directed.
Within the course of the mission, the experts visited UN agencies and International Red Cross representations both in the capital Port au Prince as well as in the epicentre of the earthquake Leogane, where about 80% of the buildings were destroyed or damaged. The implementation of projects geared towards providing shelter, child protection, and sanitary issues was also examined. Participants in the mission lived in the same lodging and working conditions as UN humanitarian workers in the camp that Estonia helped to build and get running. The mission lasted from 27 June to 4 July. Estonia was invited to join the mission because it is currently a co-chairman, along with Ireland, of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group that unites 36 humanitarian aid-donating nations. The members of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group have approved the principles and good practice of humanitarian donorship. The goal of the group is to spread these principles. The results of the Haiti evaluation group will be discussed and presented at the yearly meeting of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group in New York on 16 July 2010.
Estonia Becomes Head of Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee
5 July (BNS) - The Cybercrime Convention Committee of the Council of Europe has elected Markko Künnapu, an official from the Estonian Ministry of Justice, as its president. Künnapu, who works as an adviser at the penal policy department of the Ministry of Justice, previously served as vice president of the Cybercrime Convention Committee. The president's tenure lasts two years.
Künnapu has been working at the Ministry of Justice since 2005. Before that he worked at the Estonian Ministry of the Interior and the police. While working at the Ministry of Justice, he has taken part in drafting various bills related to criminal procedure and penal law, including to computer crimes and identity theft, spokespeople for the Estonian ministry said.
Owing to the dangers of cybercrime and the need for common minimum technical and legal standards to fight such crime at a global level, the Convention on Cybercrime was prepared by the Council of Europe member states and Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States. The convention entered into force on 1 July 2004 and its additional protocol concerning the criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems entered into force on 1 March 2006.
The Convention on Cybercrime foresees regular consultations among the parties that have signed it, who meet at least once a year as the Cybercrime Convention Committee.
New Heat Records for 2010 Set in Two Southern Towns
6 July (BNS) - The maximum air temperature record for this year was surpassed in the southern Estonian towns of Elva and Valga Monday evening as the temperature hit 30.8 degrees Celsius in Elva and 30.5 degrees in Valga between 6 and 7 p.m. As the rising trend in air temperatures continues, several more records are expected to be set in south-eastern and central Estonia on Tuesday, head of the weather forecasts department of the Estonian Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology Merike Merilain told BNS.
She said that at hydrometric stations situated on river floodplains and in other places where there was little air movement, thermometers may give readings considerably above the official temperature high, but such measurements are non-standard and the records are not counted.
Estonia's absolute summer heat record dates from 14 August 1992 when 35.6 degrees Celsius was recorded in Võru. On the opposite end of the scale, it was only last year that an all-time air temperature low for 6 July of four degrees above zero was measured in Tallinn and in Pärnu.
Statistics Estonia to Use New Methodology in 2011 Census
7 July (BNS) - In the census to be taken next year, the number of Estonian residents may turn out bigger than suggested by data from the previous population count because according to estimates the methodology used in the 2000 census left several percent of the population not counted, Postimees said.
In next year's census, Statistics Estonia intends to use a different methodology. Allan Puur, a population scientist speaking to the newspaper, said that in the 2000 census the proportion of people not covered by the main census was estimated by conducting a post-enumeration survey. The survey, to check the accuracy of a census, is conducted in a small number of randomly chosen enumeration areas and the results of the main survey and the post-enumeration survey are put side by side. In Estonia a post-survey was conducted in 50 census areas and according to it 1.2% of the population or an estimated 16 000 people were not covered by the census, Postimees said.
Puur was sceptical about that figure, however. He said experts have estimated that actually from 2 to 5 percent of the population, or from 27 000 to 68 000 residents, may have been left out of the survey in 2000.
Diana Beltadze, project manager for the 2011 census, said that in order to get a result as accurate as possible the new census would be taken using a wholly different methodology. She said that prior to the census a body of data listing all residents of Estonia would be put together using a variety of sources such as the population register, the Health Insurance Fund and other registers. The data gathered in the census would be compared with that body of data later.
In the case of a person whose name is in the body of data but who has not been counted in the census, it will be checked whether his or her activity has left a trace in some Estonian register. If yes, that person will be counted as a resident. People who are known to be living in Estonia but do not receive official remuneration for their work or a pension, do not go to school, do not get in touch with the law and are in no other way in interaction with the state will be left uncounted.
Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots Visits the United States
8 July - During his official visit to the United States of America, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Ants Laaneots discussed with our allies the ongoing operations in Afghanistan, the security situation in Europe, the development of cyber defence, and military cooperation with the United States.
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Ants Laaneots met on Wednesday, 7 July in Washington with Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Glenn Mullen.
“We share the same values with the United States. In the area of national defence, we understand things in the same way as our biggest partner the United States, and we understand one another well,” said Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots. “Military cooperation, especially in the cyber defence sector, is intensifying all the time.”
Assistant Secretary of Defence Vershbow and Admiral Mullen thanked their trustworthy partner Estonia for cooperating in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Laaneots confirmed that Estonia is prepared to remain in Afghanistan and increase its contribution—soon Estonia will be sending the Estonian intelligence unit HUMINT to join a unit of US Marines. Lieutenant General Laaneots spoke about the plan to repair Estonian communication equipment in Afghanistan, exchange armoured transport vehicles for newer ones, and to start using unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. The assistant secretary of defence agreed with Laaneots that the proposals made by the group of experts led by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright regarding NATO’s new Strategic Concept are a good basis for compiling the concept.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen gave Lieutenant General Laaneots an overview of recent developments in Afghanistan and confirmed that the new commander of ISAF General David Petraeus will continue with General Stanley McChristal’s strategy in Afghanistan. Admiral Mullen also talked about the placement plans of American troops, emphasising the establishment of Afghanistan’s own army and police force as a priority.
Both Vershbow and Mullen confirmed that the enlivening of relations between the United States and Russia is being done in accordance and in close cooperation with America’s partners. They also emphasized strong support for ensuring the visibility of the United States and NATO in the Baltic states.
During his visit to the United States, Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots placed a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. He also met with Third Commander of the US Fleet Cyber Command Vice Admiral Barry McCullough to discuss developing cyber defence capabilities and McCullough’s visit to Estonia that will take place this year. In addition, Laaneots met with the command of US military intelligence and Vice Chief of Staff of the US Army General Peter W. Chiarelli. General Peter Chiarelli has been the chief of the Multinational Corps Iraq (MNC-I); dozens of Estonian soldiers have fought near Baghdad under his command.
In a meeting with representatives of the Estonian Defence Forces’ long-time cooperation partner the Maryland National Guard, experiences in resolving crisis situations were exchanged and cooperation in the cyber defence sector was discussed.
On 9 July Lieutenant General Laaneots will meet with representatives of the NATO Allied Command Transformation, which focuses on addressing new security threats, and Commander of the US Joint Forces Command General James Mattis.
This visit by Lieutenant General Ants Laaneots is the first official visit by a commander of the Estonian Defence Forces to the United States since the birth of the Republic of Estonia in 1918.
Estonians Serving Under New Command in Afghanistan
3 July (BNS) - Representatives of the coalition forces staged a ceremony in Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province in Afghanistan during which the previous South regional command was divided into two. After 14 July the Helmand Command, including Estonian soldiers serving in Afghanistan, are subordinated to the Southeast Regional Command. Earlier the command headed by the Britons belonged to the South Regional Command.
Commander of the Estonian contingent Lt. Col. Riho Ühtegi said that coming under the new command would not mean any changes for the Estonians, as the Estonian infantry company is part of the British Helmand Command and will remain in its composition. "The change boils down to dividing the South Regional Command into two. Earlier operations in the six southern provinces of Afghanistan were steered from Kandahar, but now Helmand and Nimruz operations will be steered from Camp Leatherneck, which is situated next to Camp Bastion," Ühtegi said. He said dividing the South Regional Command into two would create better opportunities for focusing on the two most difficult provinces in military terms, Kandahar and Helmand.
The south-eastern region is subordinated to Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills of the US Marines MEF-I. Helmand and Nimruz provinces will remain in the area of responsibility of the new command. The Helmand command will remain serving in the central part of Helmand Province in the Lashkar Gah and Nad e Ali area which coincides with the boundaries of the provincial reconstruction team headed by the United Kingdom. The Estonians' subordination and area of responsibility will remain unchanged.
The Estonian contingent in Afghanistan consists of an infantry company, a logistics support element, a close protection team, and staff officers. Since the middle of May Estcoy 10, supported by the logistic support element NSE-9 from Camp Bastion, ensures secure life for the local people in the area of the Wahid patrol base.
Advisor From Estonian Defence Ministry Starts Work in Afghanistan
2 July (BNS) - An Estonian Defence Ministry advisor, Jaano Vija, started working at the Afghan Defence Ministry this week, advising Afghanis in defence policy planning. The Estonian advisor belongs to the international staff and he will start advising the regional defence policy department of the Strategy and Policy Directorate at the Afghan Defence Ministry. His duties will be to advise the Afghan officials in conducting daily work, establishing contacts with other state institutions and foreign countries, and also organising the necessary upgrading courses and seminars for Afghan officials.
Vija is also the defence policy advisor to the Estonian special mission in Afghanistan. The Estonian advisor was dispatched to Afghanistan in co-operation with the British Ministry of Defence. "It is not our duty to say what the Afghans should do, but advise how one or another thing could be done better and what kind of mistakes should be avoided," Vija said.
He said that the time when NATO and the international community did things for the Afghans is about to end and helping Afghanistan with advisors was more important than ensuring security by actual force of arms. "Coming from a country that has built up national defence from scratch during the past twenty years, it is possible for Estonia to share experience with Afghanistan which the old NATO states do not have," Vija said.
Vija is a political science graduate from Tartu University and he has worked in the Defence Ministry since 2005. Earlier Aart Nomm, Gerri Lesk and Ingvar Parnamae worked as advisers at the Afghan Defence Ministry, consulting for Afghans in the parliamentary relations sphere.
H1 Tax Revenue Inflow 48.4 Percent of Target
6 July (BNS) - The Estonian Tax and Customs Board said that 29.9 billion kroons (EUR 1.9 b) of tax revenue was paid into the state budget by the end of June, 48.4% of the annual target. In June the inflow was 5.4 billion kroons, the Finance Ministry said.
Because of the tax returns, traditionally less taxes are paid into the budget in the first six months than in the second part of the year. As of the end of last June 29.6 billion kroons, 46.6% of the annual target, was paid into the state budget, the ministry said.
The inflow of social tax was 13.1 billion kroons by the end of June, 48.7% of the annual target. Of this, 2.2 billion was paid into the state budget in June, 6.2% less than in 2009. June inflow was on the expected level.
The revenue from individual income tax paid into the state budget was 376.5 million kroons in June and 528.4 million kroons in six months. In the same period in 2009 tax returns were about 150 million kroons higher than inflows. In June, the return of income tax continued at the rate of 17.9 million kroons, and in 2010 the state returned nearly 1.7 billion kroons to taxpayers. Local governments received 761.7 million kroons from individual income tax.
Inflow of corporate income tax totalled 1.1 billion kroons during the six months, 43.4 percent of the target and of this 213.7 million kroons flew in June. Compared with 2009 the June inflow was 31.1% lower. Significant growth in inflow is expected in June when most of the dividends will be paid out.
Intake of value-added tax added up to 9.6 billion kroons since the beginning of the year and accounted for 50.5% of the annual target. Of this sum 1.7 billion kroons was paid in June, 4.9% more than in 2009. VAT returns contracted by nearly 50 million kroons in June against May, and the declared turnovers slightly increased.
Inflow of the alcohol excise into the state budget totalled 1.2 billion kroons, 51.6% of the target, by the end of June, of tobacco excise 920.1 million kroons (50.3% of the target), and the motor fuel excise 2.8 billion kroons (57.5% of the target).
Port of Tallinn’s June Freight Flow Up 19 Percent on Year
2 July (BNS) - Ports of the Estonian state-owned company Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn) handled 2.866 million tons of freight in June, 18.7% more than in the same month last year. In the first six months of 2010 cargo throughput totalled 17.9 million tons, an increase of 16.5% year on year, the company said. Oil products, the largest category of cargoes, made up 12.4 million tons of the six-month total, or 5.3% more than during the same period last year.
Bulk cargoes, such as fertilizers, coal, grain and crushed stone, surged 89% to 2.8 million tons, ro-ro shipments were up 33.5% at 1.7 million tons, and container throughput increased 11.8% to 75 226 TEU.
The number of passengers who passed through the ports during the half-year grew 6.5% in annual comparison to 3.75 million.
Seasonal Route Between Tallinn and Athens Launched by Estonian Air
2 July (BNS) - Starting from 5 July, Estonian Air will be operating a seasonal air link between Tallinn and Athens. Flights will take place once a week on Mondays, with the departure from Tallinn at 12:10 and from Athens at 16:40 local time. The route will be operated until 16 August 2010, Estonian Air said.
Number of Passengers Passing Through Tallinn Airport Grows in June
5 July (BNS) - Estonia's Tallinn Airport served a total of 139 294 passengers in June, 9.6% more than in the same period last year. The number of passengers on international flights grew by 9.8% to 137 007, it appears from statistics of AS Tallinn Airport.
Overall during the six months, a total of 634 560 passengers, 3.6% fewer than in the same month last year passed through Tallinn Airport.
Goods to the tune of 690 tons passed through Tallinn Airport in June, 53.6% less than in June 2009. In six months 6 417 tons of goods, 34.7% less than in the first six months last year, passed through Tallinn Airport in June.
In all there were 3 259 flights through Tallinn Airport in June, 14.2% more than in June 2009. The number of flights in the first six months of the year was 16 094, roughly equal with the same period last year.
Estonian Air to Add Tallinn-St. Petersburg Flights
6 July (BNS) - Estonian Air will increase the frequency of Tallinn-St. Petersburg flights from 3 August; it will start flying five times weekly from 3 August and six times weekly from September. Estonian Air will add Tuesday's flights from 3 August, departing from Tallinn at 13:00 and from St. Petersburg at 15:40 and from 2 September on Thursdays, departing from Tallinn at 11:30 and from St. Petersburg at 14:10 local time.
The flights between Tallinn and St. Petersburg are taking place on the basis of code-sharing in co-operation with Rossiya-Russian Airlines; the duration of the flight is one hour and ten minutes.
“St. Petersburg is an important destination among Estonian businessmen and holiday-makers, and Estonia continues to be a thrilling and attractive destination for residents of St. Petersburg,” said Rauno Parras, vice-president of Estonian Air for commerce. He said the developments on the Tallinn-St-Petersburg route had so far been positive.
At present Estonian Air flies to St. Petersburg four times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Estonia’s Contribution to Development of New Enterprise Exceeded EUR 147 Mln in 2009
8 July (BNS) - The government on Thursday approved the report for 2009 of the enactment plan of Estonia's enterprise policy for 2007-2013, according to which the state's financial input into the development of enterprise last year amounted to over 2.3 billion kroons (EUR 147 mln). Of that sum, direct payments to entrepreneurs amounted to 775 million kroons, the Ministry of Economy and Communications said.
The number of businesses per 1 000 residents grew from 42.5 to 43.6 in Estonia last year. During the year 11 182 new companies were established, almost 1 200 more than in 2008. The productivity level of Estonian companies remained on the level of 2008 while the survival rate dropped 4.2%.
Significant contributions, in the amount of more than 100 million kroons, were made last year to developing know-how and skills, with training in areas such as export, creative economy, management, and base training for starting entrepreneurs occupying an important place.
The volume of exports guaranteed by Kredex was 426 million kroons, with money also paid for export marketing, participation in trade fairs and other similar activities. Support for technology investments amounted to 345 million kroons.
An important change took place in the legal environment from the beginning of 2010, when an electronic environment was launched for drawing up and submitting the annual reports of companies and NGOs. During 2009 the necessary preparation works were conducted.
Krimelte Launches Export to New Zealand, Cyprus
6 July (BNS) - Estonia's OU Krimelte, which exports building foams and sealants to nearly 40 countries, has launched export to the New Zealand and Cyprus markets. Krimelte said that export to Israel would also begin soon.
"The areas that have recently been added to Krimelte's export portfolio offer a good opportunity for fast development and are a good indicator of the potential of foreign countries’ building sectors after the economic fall," said Krimelte board chairman Jaan Puusaag. He said New Zealand showed opportunities for entry into the Australian market.
The entry into the Brazilian market that began successfully last year was proceeding as planned according to the company, and the company continued to see room for growth and potential for winning the building market there.
In addition to its Estonian factory, Krimelte also has production units in Russia and Denmark. Among other countries, Krimelte's export geography embraces Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Romania, Croatia, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, Japan and Russia.
Skier Kristina Šmigun-Vähi to Retire From Professional Sports
2 July (BNS) - The most successful Estonian female skier, Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, Friday said that she would give up professional sports as she wanted to devote herself to her family. Šmigun-Vähi said in a statement to the press that she had decided to listen to her inner call, to choose her family and to give up world class sports.
"I have met all my aims as a top class sportswoman; I have achieved what I dreamed of as a little girl. I now intend to leave that life behind—I want to focus on Viktoria-Kris and my family. In the near future this will be my main activity. In the future I certainly want to continue my studies and find new challenges for myself," she said.
Šmigun-Vähi was away from world class sports fo a couple of years after her daughter's birth but said last September that she would return to professional sports and would take part in the Vancouver Olympic Games. In Vancouver she won the silver medal in the 10-kilometre freestyle. After the Vancouver Olympic Games, Šmigun-Vähi said that she had not yet decided whether should would continue as a world class athlete. The most successful Olympic Games for Kristina Šmigun-Vähi were in Torino, where she won the gold medal both in the double pursuit and in the 10-kilometre classical race.
Success at Wimbledon Sends Kaia Kanepi Up 42 Notches in WTA Rankings
5 July (BNS) - Estonian tennis player Kaia Kanepi, who made it to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last week, stands in 38th place in the fresh WTA women's rankings released on Monday. Her new ranking is 42 places higher than in the last WTA table.
Of other Estonian women, Maret Ani is ranked 249th, down from 254th place in the previous rankings, Margit Rüütel 504th (492nd) and Anett Schutting 681st (695th).
Serena Williams retained her top position in the WTA rankings after winning her 13th Grand Slam title in London. Serbia's Jelena Jankovic climbed from third to second place, Dane Caroline Wozniacki from fourth to third place, while Venus Williams was off to place four from place two.