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Interview for Icelandic National Broadcasting


In the interview President Kaljulaid said that the standard of living in Estonia has been transformed, in the 26 years since the country declared it´s independence from Russia: "I would say an average salary in Estonia at regaining independence, it didn´t pass 30 euros per month, definitely not. Now it´s 1200."

Also, the decision to join the EU was an important step, both to preserve democracy and increase trade with other European nations. President Kersti Kaljulaid was in Iceland last week to take part in the Women Political Leaders annual summit. "We need this architecture to also to also protect democratic values in our region, to make sure that we are not on the menu, but behind the table. Also, our economy is 80% export oriented, so we need free market, and European market of course, particularly Scandinavian market is our natural partner to develop our economy," Estonian head of state said.

When asked about Estonia´s relations to Russia, Kaljulaid says the relations are generally peaceful. She said the most controversial issue is the border agreement signed in 2014, that the Russian government still has not ratified. Kaljulaid also comments on the fact that Iceland was the first state in the world to acknowledge Estonia´s independence: "The place in front of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is called Iceland´s Place, and this describes very well our relations. They are warm, they are good. Small countries have no formality, no tough protocol, so we get on very well with each other."

Link to the full interview.