Speeches

The President of the Republic at the Victory Day parade in Tartu

The President of the Republic at the Victory Day parade in Tartu

Dear Defence League members, dear Estonians here in Tartu and at home,

“Once, I saw a peasant with a big beard standing by the Elva bridge, west of the railway line. He had a horse and was doling out something to those around him. I went for a closer look. On a sledge, there was a milk container of about 30 litres, containing a gravy full of bits of fatback. I was fortunate enough to partake of it myself.”

That was how young Ilmar Raamot, who fought on armoured train no. 2, described a day during the War of Independence. One hundred years ago today, there was a little more than six months remaining of the War of Independence. Six long and arduous, yet already hope-filled, months.

A soldier needs not only a rifle and cartridges to fight, but also hot meal. At the beginning of the War of Independence, our army lacked almost everything. Often it was food aid from our fellow Estonians, ordinary people, that filled the bellies of our soldiers in the first months of the war.

The War of Independence was not won just by frontline soldiers, but also by the farmer who gave a coach to the military, by the Defence League member who kept the rear in order, by the tailor who sewed uniforms for our soldiers and by the nurse who took care of the wounded. The War of Independence was won by the entire nation.

It was a collective effort, which led to our victory. Today we call such an effort by the whole society comprehensive national defence. It means that all walks of life are ready for a crisis and protecting the whole society. It means understanding how hospitals can treat everyone who needs care, even in a state of emergency. It means thinking about how we can all get fed during a crisis – as a nation that usually does not grow its own food, unlike 100 years ago.

 Today, national defence means more than preparing for a classic conventional conflict.

It is much more likely that we will experience a major power outage, a snowstorm, a flood or the derailment of a freight train with hazardous cargo. Such crises do not jeopardise Estonian independence but can cripple our citizens’ everyday life and sense of security. But Estonian security begins with every person’s own sense of security.

23.06.2019

 

News

President Kaljulaid discussed cooperation with her Croatian colleague

President Kaljulaid discussed cooperation with her Croatian colleague

The Heads of State of Estonia and Croatia discussed cooperation in the economic and digital spheres and the European Union, particularly in relation to Croatia’s upcoming presidency of the European Union. “Both Estonia and Croatia are in favour of the further enlargement of the European Union, and it is important for Estonia to ensure that all countries that demonstrate their will to implement reforms and share the same value space as us become involved in the expansion discussions – including today’s Eastern Partnership programme countries, Georgia and Ukraine,” said President Kaljulaid at today’s meeting with the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who arrived in Estonia for an official visit.

18.06.2019

 

President Kaljulaid: the people of Estonia and Denmark have a tight bond in every field

President Kaljulaid: the people of Estonia and Denmark have a tight bond in every field

Today President Kersti Kaljulaid welcomed Danish Queen Margrethe II who is visiting Estonia in celebration of Estonia’s 100th anniversary and the 800th anniversary of Dannebrog, the flag of Denmark.

15.06.2019

 

President Kaljulaid: we need to bypass others in tackling climate problems

President Kaljulaid: we need to bypass others in tackling climate problems

Estonia is about to lag behind in the sphere of energy efficiency and climate politics, so now is the time to find the technological tools to bypass others, said President Kersti Kaljulaid today in Tallinn, at the EU climate and environment policy seminar.

14.06.2019