Source: President of Estonia
“Only passivity and fear can help Russia to win this war. Both passivity and fear inside Russia, and in the West. People in European countries understand the situation well, and are ready to support Ukraine. This now needs to be matched by the bravery of decision-makers. The Ukrainian people are setting a powerful example: freedom is not free,” President Alar Karis stressed in his speech at the official dinner of the international Lennart Meri Security Conference.
President Karis emphasised the need to overcome the fear of provoking Russia with our actions. “Indeed, it is the contrary – firm action is the only brand of deterrence that will work. I would argue that we still haven’t fully come to grips with what Russian invasion means for the European security order. The previous strategies of forging economic ties, trade relationships hasn’t worked. Containment hasn’t worked. It is time for something bolder,” said President Karis. President Karis also highlighted the need to significantly bolster NATO’s deterrence posture on the eastern flank of the alliance.
“I am heartened by the five sanctions packages by the EU, but we must get to banning Russian oil. Estonia has sent military equipment in the sum that amounts to one third of our yearly defence budget. And just last week the government approved another round of howitzers and ammunition to be sent. I invite all my NATO and EU friends to try to beat us,” said President Karis.
The Estonian head of state noted that President Putin has been successful in deterring the West for too long and it is time to turn the tables. “Mr Putin’s expansionist dream to create the great Novorossiya cannot prevail,” said President Karis. How long can we keep asking: who’s next? We must put an end to this,” he added.
President’s speech (in English)
Photos (Raigo Pajula)