Finnish FM Objects to Historical Comparison in Ilves's Victory Day Speech (1)

Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Erkki Tuomioja at a Social Democrats' conference in Tallinn in 2002 (Postimees/Scanpix)
6/26/2014 3:30 PM
Category: Politics

Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja took a jab at Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who said the situation in eastern Ukraine bears a resemblance to the events of 1919 and 1940 in Estonia.

In his Estonian Victory Day speech on June 23, the Estonian head of state said that “what we see in eastern Ukraine today, we saw in Estonia in 1940 and 1919. We cannot, and often don’t even want to imagine how fragile the well-being that we’ve got used to really is; how fragile is the peace around us, our independence and our freedom.” Ilves also repeatedly underlined the importance of NATO in ensuring Estonia’s security.

In an interview to Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, Tuomioja indicated he disagrees with Ilves’ views, Delfi reported today.

“Ilves's worldview was formed in Munich and the United States, while others have lived and survived here,” the minister said, alluding to Ilves spending his childhood in the US and later working for Radio Free Europe.

Tuomioja also said that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has no effect on Finland’s current security situation and there “will be no change” in the country’s defense policy.

In April, Tuomioja was quoted as saying that NATO is no miracle cure and joining the alliance could create unnecessary problems for Finland.

However, two days ago, Alexander Stubb was confirmed as the new prime minister and he has been vocal in his support to Finland joining NATO.


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