I would like to welcome President Duda to Estonia.
We are pleased and honored that you chose Estonia as your first presidential visit. Your visit sends a strong message of Estonia and Poland as close allies who share and stand for common interests and values. President Duda, you coming to Tallinn underlines that relations between our two countries are especially close.
It is highly symbolic that we stand here together on the 23rd of August. Today, 76 years ago the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocol were signed in Moscow. As a result, two murderous totalitarian regimes with deadly ideologies divided Europe into spheres of influence, many countries were occupied, grave crimes were committed and millions lost their lives. Poland was the first to lose its freedom on September 1, 1939. Two and a half weeks later, Poland was invaded from the east. And there was a joint Soviet-Nazi victory parade in Brest-Litovsk.
Today let us remember the victims of Soviet and Nazi crimes and honor those who in 1989 confronted the Soviet regime.
Unfortunately we see a haunting reminder of history close to our boarders. We certainly have reasons to believe that an eastern neighbour views this region as one of NATO's most vulnerable areas, as a place where NATO's resolve and commitment could be tested. Therefore, it is imperative that we do our part. This means building up the military capability that is necessary and capable to respond to the new challenges. This also means that the we deliver a clear message that we are united in our resolve to defend each and every amember of the Alliance.
On the allied force presence, Estonia highly values the current US commitment of boots on the ground and of delivering pre-positioned equipment in our region. We are doing our bit so as to be able to provide the best host nation support possible. We continue to consult with key European allies, ensuring a proper European posture in the new forward presence as well.
"The events in Ukraine remind us that freedom is something that we should not take for granted. We have to work every day to retain our freedom here at home, with our allies in Europe and the trans-Atlantic axis. Estonia sees that Poland has a clearly distinguished role as an initiator of security-related co-operation in our region and the NATO summit, which is due to take place soon in Warsaw, is the best example of the implementation of this role," said the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, after his meeting with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, today presented the annual home decoration awards in Narva.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves hosted Raimonds Vējonis, the Latvian head of state, at Ärma Farm this evening.