28 Dec 2017 18:15

Estonian president plans to move to Russian-speaking Narva for one month in 2018

TALLINN. Dec 28 (Interfax) - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has said she intends to move to the city of Narva, which is located near the border with Russia and has a predominantly Russian-speaking population, for one month in 2018.

When speaking in an interview with the ETV+ television station to be shown on December 30, Kaljulaid said that she and her administration plan to relocate to Narva for a month after the construction of the city's Vaba Lava theater complex has been completed, according to the ERR TV and radio broadcaster's website.

"By the way, I have promised to move to Narva for one month with my entire chancellery when the Vaba Lava [foundation] finishes the construction of its building in order to show that the Estonian community, Estonian society is present in Narva and appreciates Narva," the president said.

"The Estonian state's interest toward Narva will remain regardless of who becomes Russia's president in March next year," she said.

The construction of the Vaba Lava theater complex on the premises of the former Baltiyets plant began on December 19, 2017. The building is expected to accommodate a black-box theater hall for more than 220 viewers, a studio for the ERR national television and radio broadcaster, the Ilmarine children's theater, and also offices, cafes and a gallery. The complex is expected to open on November 17, 2018.

The city of Narva, where more than 90% of the population are Russian-speakers, is considered to be in a depressive economic state in Estonia.

"I suspect that the reason behind this quite poor situation is the low quality of city governance. If this problem is solved, the city and its residents will be better off," the president said.