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Estonian Head of State at the meeting with the Secretary General of NATO: NATO’s presence anywhere within its territory must be powerfully visible and credible in a military sense


The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, confirmed following at their meeting today in Kadriorg that no one member of the alliance is being threatened more now than before; our shared values upon which both NATO and the European Union rely are being threatened.

Russia's activities, first in the Crimea and now in East and South-east Ukraine, have made the Helsinki Accords of 1975 redundant and have changed the European post-Cold War security situation, stated the Estonian Head of State.

According to the President, NATO's deterrence measures and the Alliance's partnership policy have acquired special importance in this security situation.

"NATO's presence anywhere within its territory must be powerfully visible and credible in a military sense; this is a part of the collective defence principle of NATO," emphasised the Estonian Head of State, in acknowledging the Secretary General of NATO for the contribution towards strengthening the security of NATO's border countries over the last couple of months.

Apart from the additional aircrafts that arrived as part of the Baltic air security mission and the units of allies deployed here, it is also important that NATO has begun to use the Ämari Airbase as its second airbase in the Baltic states, stated President Ilves, adding: "This airbase must remain at the disposal of the alliance."

"It is also very important for NATO to strengthen relations and increase co-operation with all its closest partners – those who share the common values and understanding and have the capabilities and willingness to significantly contribute to security in democratic Europe," told the Estonian Head of State.

According to the President, Estonia completely shares NATO's political and legal assessment of the violation of co-operation agreements between NATO and Russia by Moscow – Russia's aggression in Europe has demolished our current relations and, therefore, it is difficult to see Russia as NATO's partner.

When speaking about the situation in Ukraine, President Ilves repeated that the tragic and violent events that have taken place there have shown once again how important it is to replace separatism for respect for a lawful regime and violence for democratic dialogue, with the elections due to take place on 25 May being an integral part of this.

"The state of Ukraine and the Ukrainian citizens need the support of democratic Europe and it is our duty to help Ukraine become internally stable and an economic success," assured the Estonian Head of State.

He gave Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Secretary General of NATO who is about to leave office soon, a graphic piece called "A Fight" by the recognised Estonian artist, Jüri Arrak.

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