Estonia condemns terrorist attacks, grieves with France (1)
Estonia strongly condemns Friday's terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, with authorities and people alike expressing their deepest condolences to those who lost family and friends. People have left flowers at the French Embassy's gate, and like elsewhere in the world, several public building were dressed in the tricolór to show solidarity with France.
"I am shocked by the large-scale and coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris," President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said. He added: "This is also an attack on our fundamental values. We, together with other allies and friends, stand firmly by France and its people. We are with you in our thoughts, hope and resolve."
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas too expressed his condolences in a letter to French President François Hollande, calling the attack "barbaric, cruel and inhuman."
"Only together and as one can we stand against this kind of terror,” he stressed. "Estonia stands side by side with the French and is ready to support France in every way."
The Ministry of Interior quickly stepped up the security measures at the French Embassy, as well as at Estonian airports, ports and l border checkpoints. "We are also in close contact with our partners to monitor the situation in Europe," Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said.
Candles and flowers by the French Embassy in Tallinn (Photo: Siim Lõvi/ERR)
Talking of what should be done, Marko Mihkelson, the Chairman of the National Defense Committee, said the EU has to first understand that the continuing and rapid spreading of Islamic extremism, including inside the union, is a very serious threat to its citizens. "Proceeding from that, it is necessary to formulate our common strategy both for activities inside the union and also for resisting the threat of attack in foreign and security policy sphere," he said.
“The danger of such attacks can be minimized inside the union only if intelligence information is exchanged between the states and active measures against terrorist networks are carried out. It is also necessary to map the main sources of the spreading of Islamic extremism in the European Union,” Mihkelson noted.
"This time, a solidarity march on the streets of Paris is not enough. We are facing a long fight in the direct sense of the word, and Europe has to be ready for that,” Mihkelson emphasized.