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HomeEstoniaPresident in Victory Day speech: Estonia will not fall back to 1939

President in Victory Day speech: Estonia will not fall back to 1939

In his speech at the Victory Day parade in the northeastern border city of Narva, President Alar Karis said that as a member of NATO, Estonia will not fall back to the early days of World War II, even though the country still lacks some defense capabilities.

Karis noted that together with the nine allied countries participating in Sunday’s parade, all-encompassing NATO defense plans to repel a possible Russian attack have just been completed.

“With these allies, we are engaged in building common deterrence and defense, together with the necessary arms and forces, on a daily basis. It’s also worth noting that Estonia hosts a permanent presence of battlegroups from three of NATO’s nuclear members: the United Kingdom, France, and the United States,” he said.

“That is why I also disagree with the opinion that a gap in capability might cause us to fall back to the year 1939, when we were totally alone and lost our independence. Estonia is a NATO member today and in perpetuity. The Alliance is militarily, politically, and economically unmatched by any enemy. And Estonia’s NATO membership means that we are now opposing evil jointly,” Karis added.

The head of state said that Estonia’s own weaponry increasingly matches that of our allies in terms of capability.

“We possess arms and ammunition that can, if necessary, be used to shatter enemy forces in their own rear. Weapons with which we will hold them there,” he said. “Of course, this all carries a steep price tag that our people have paid and will continue paying, channeling several percentage points of national wealth into defense. It is our shared contribution towards defending Estonia’s freedom.”

The assessment that we require an additional amount totaling more than a billion euros for acquiring munitions cannot be ignored. Especially when that need stems from NATO defense plans, Karis said.

“Would it be right for the state to borrow? Or to issue eurobonds? It is a matter of acquiring greater defense capabilities and increasing our arsenal in order to guarantee Estonia’s security. In doing so, we will boost confidence within our country and in the eyes of foreign investors. Fear and uncertainty cost more than an increase of four or five percent of GDP in government debt,” he said.

“Is the taxpayer prepared to make this new sacrifice in the name of our security? It must be discussed publicly; explained calmly and without bickering. When the state’s goal is clear, then people will understand it,” the president added.

Estonia marks June 23 as Victory Day to commemorate the victory of Estonian troops together with the North Latvian Brigade over the Baltic German Landeswehr in the battle of Vonnu/Cesis in June 1919.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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