Thank you very much for inviting me. I always come back to Columbia, this is where the ursprung of my life is from. It is always a pleasure for me to speak at my Alma Mater. Last year, I spoke here about cyber security. Estonia is a highly digitized society, we must take cyber threats seriously. But at that time, just a year ago, we had no idea how much the world around us would change within months. In the past seven months we have seen a complete sea change in the security environment of the transatlantic area, for which we were not prepared.
There had been warning signs. For example, Russia's aggression against Georgia in 2008 was a wake-up call, but everyone hit the snooze button, chose to ignore it. A month after president Sarkozy had announced his peace plan, the EU and Russia said they were not going to do anything about it, even though the peace plan provisions on removing the Russian troops were never met. So we knew beforehand that things were shifting, but we chose not to pay attention.
In November this year we'll celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. 1989 for us indeed was the Annus Mirabilis: The Cold War ended, the Iron Curtain crumbled and we had a continent-wide euphoria. Estonia, too, along with our Baltic neighbours, Latvia and Lithuania, was soon to be liberated from the Soviet occupation that had lasted in our countries for half a century.
"Our duty in the European Union is not to forget the main values. We must not submit to threats by force in international relationships; we must not agree to frozen conflicts and the annexing of territories. All governments must acknowledge and honour the independence and freedom of civil society and its vital role in shaping society," said President Ives today in his opening speech at the Annual Assembly of the European Union-Russia Civil Society Forum.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves today signed a resolution proclaiming the parliamentary elections for the XIII Riigikogu to be held on 1 March 2015.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, began consultations today with the parliamentary parties to suggest a candidate for the position of Chancellor of Justice of the Republic of Estonia who would receive the support of the Parliament.