*The main event of the week was the scandal around Estonian Education Minister Mailis Reps' interview broadcast by the Rossiya TV channel, where she praised the education system in the Russian republic of Mari El. "The Estonian education minister is either stupid or so afraid of Russia because of the agreement signed by the Russian party of power [on cooperation between the Centrist Party of Estonia and United Russia] that she thinks it necessary to approve even of the repression of the Mari." (Delfi, August 18.)
The Moscow Human Rights Bureau's research titled "Racism, xenophobia, ethnic discrimination and anti-Semitism in Russia" provided another occasion for anti-Russian propaganda. "After Vladimir Putin came to power, xenophobic sentiments in Russia have mounted." (Eesti Paevaleht, August 17.)
The press suggests that the Kremlin will use Estonian nationalists to prevent the "orange revolution" scenario in Russia. "The authorities' lenient attitudes towards radical groups can be viewed as an intention to use them in their own purposes. Scaring people with the "brown plague," the ruling elite, which is afraid of "orange revolutions," can ensure its future: look what may happen if you don't elect us." (SL Ohtuleht, August 17.)
Another anniversary of the Russian default gave rise to the discussions about the possibility that the events of 1998 may repeat. ............
........... "There is a danger that the significant amount of money accrued in the Stabilization Fund will get out of control and being pouring into the economy. And stagnation will ensue." (Delfi, August 18.)
Commenting on Gazprom's deal to buy into Sibneft, the Estonian press publishes the opinion of British analysts. "After selling Sibneft at a knockdown price under Boris Yeltsin, the Kremlin is buying it back for enormous money under Vladimir Putin. As a result, Roman Abramovich will get rich and Russia will lose money that could be used to finance schools and hospitals." (Delfi, August 23.)