As the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union approaches (August 23), some news stories:
First, Russia’s defence minister announces that most of the hijackers of the Arctic Sea were Estonians. This later becomes eight detainees, of whom four are claimed to be Estonians, two Latvians, and two Russians. The Estonian government issues a statement saying that it received no official notification of the arrest of Estonian nationals from the Russian government, as would be required by the agreement existing between the two countries. Estonia delivers a note to the Russian embassy in Tallinn, requesting clarification.
The Czech government expels two Russian diplomats for suspected espionage. Russia calls it an “unfriendly act”, and says it “will not promote development of normal relations between the two countries.”
Georgia officially leaves the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent State, or former Soviet Republics, led by Russia).