Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Estonian President's Statement to the People of Estonia

Statement of President Ilves to the people of Estonia regarding the situation in Georgia


Dear Estonian people.
All of us who value democratic values and the ideals of freedom support Georgia today. A democratic European country has fallen victim to aggression.
The world, but especially the European Union and NATO, cannot just remain a bystander in this situation. The events are taking place too close to us and with a people that wishes to tie its future to Europe and European values.
We must use all the possibilities at our disposal to immediately halt the military activity and to prevent continued casualties on Georgia’s territory.
It is for this reason that the leaders of the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine have decided to make a joint visit to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi today. Together we will continue our activities in the UN, the European Union, and other international organization in order to find a fast and permanent solution to the conflict. .
The Russian-Georgian war is a touchstone for the European Union for shaping European security policies in the future. Europe must re-evaluate its entire current security and foreign policy and bring it into conformity with the new reality. We must thoroughly rethink what the significantly changed security environment in the vicinity of Europe means for Estonia.
Estonia, as a European Union and NATO member state, is not directly threatened by foreign aggression. Our people should not be afraid or feel endangered.
Estonia’s primary security guarantee is our international credibility, the fulfillment of the obligations we have accepted, as well as our readiness to participate in the resolution of Europe’s and the world’s problems.
In Estonia we must not rush to make decisions that might reduce the defense capabilities of our country or weaken our domestic security. A great responsibility rests with our parliament and government to find sufficient opportunities to strengthen our statehood.
I wish us all the strength and peace of mind to achieve this.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President of the Republic of Estonia
Office of the President
Public Relations Department
Phone +372 631 6229

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