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The President of the Republic inspected the area of sea pollution in Harjumaa

President Arnold Rüütel today visited the area of sea pollution in Harjumaa where Minister of Environment Villu Reiljan and representatives of different government agencies gave an overview of the situation concerning the elimination of pollution and the search of probable source of pollution, and the activities planned to be taken next.

President Arnold Rüütel visited the area of sea pollution in Harjumaa.In the most polluted area near Kolviku spit and in the base of rescue forces at Ristna harbour, ornithologist Tiit Randla, Director of the Rescue Board Mati Raidma, Director General of Environmental Inspectorate Ain Purga and Head of Maritime Department of the Board of Border Guard Ervin Piikmann gave explanations about the current situation.

President Rüütel recognised the representatives of agencies for the work done. At the same time, the Head of Estonian State stressed how important it is for the state to have its own marine surveillance system, which can establish quickly any pollution and its source, and equipment that makes it possible to eliminate the pollution as quickly as possible. The President of the Republic promised to discuss with the Prime Minister whether it is possible to find additional resources for this. ''We have to bear in mind that the Baltic Sea has been given the status of a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area. Shipping traffic in the Baltic Sea is intensifying every year, therefore, Estonia has to implement necessary measures to protect the sea,'' President Rüütel said.

The Head of Estonian State talked also with the volunteers who had come to help with the rescue efforts and thanked them for their assistance. ''It is very important that we all respect nature and make our contribution to avoid pollution, and influence those who do not care about nature,'' the President of the Republic said.

President Rüütel was Chairman of the Estonian Society for Nature Conservation (1981-1988), and has been an honorary member of the Estonian Society of Nature Conservation since 1989. In the years 1993-2002, he was Chairman of the movement ''Protect the Estonian Sea'', and since 2002, he has been Honorary Chairman of the movement ''Protect the Estonian Sea''.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, February 1, 2006

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