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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 28.11.2023, 20:53

Government endorses continued preparations for further investigation into Estonia ferry disaster

BC, Tallinn, 01.10.2020.Print version
The Estonian government at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday decided to continue preparations for a further investigation into the 1994 Estonia ferry disaster as well as for consultations with Finland and Sweden, informs LETA/BNS.

Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said that the government deems it necessary to conduct a further investigation into the Estonia ferry in relation to new information made public at the start of this week concerning a previously undocumented tear in the ship's hull, spokespeople for the government said.

"We will continue work in cooperation with Finland and Sweden to clarify all issues that have arisen in the light of the new information. We deem it extremely important that the new inquiry be independent, transparent and reliable," Ratas said.

The premier underscored that the new investigation must also take into account previous probes into the sinking of the ferry and be carried out in compliance with the 1995 M/S Estonia grave peace agreement.

The state secretary at the Cabinet meeting gave the government an independent and impartial overview of preparations for the investigation. The government endorsed continued preparations for the probe and tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with holding consultations with Swedish and Finnish authorities. The government had already decided previously that the new inquiry must be carried out in cooperation with said authorities.

The Government Office was tasked by the government with informing Estonian organizations representing victims' next of kin of the government's decision and hearing their proposals.

The government will continue discussing preparations for the investigation next week.

A film crew that made a documentary about the 1994 M/S Estonia ferry disaster for the Discovery television channel while diving near the wreck found a four-meter-long hole in the hull of the ship, which had previously been partially covered by the seabed.

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