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We’ve Hit the 'Snooze Button' For Too Long, Ilves Says

Europe is too slow and cautious in its reactions to Russian aggression in Ukraine, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on Sunday, speaking in a panel at the Brussels Forum.

"The Ukrainian crisis demonstrates that plutocracy is the dominant value in Europe - at a time when our principles of security have collapsed and state borders are violated right before out eyes, people are worried about their bank accounts and profits," the president’s office said in a press release.

Europe’s response to violation of state borders and overruling international treaties so far has been to tell 21 people that they are no longer welcome in our countries, Ilves said. “That is not an adequate response.”

He reminded that the Russian invasion to Georgia in 2008 should have been a wake-up call but “we have been hitting the snooze button ever since."

This border change means a major loss of trust in Europe as a player and NATO “being back in business," discussing Article 5.

“We can no longer think that there are unthinkables of a certain type - countries do get invaded,” Ilves said, adding that the era of “Sudetenland argument” is not gone, as was previously thought.

Ilves called the European Union to be more decisive in defending shared values and take a united stand with the US, which has shown more spine in confronting the aggression in Europe.

The two other panelists were Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini and Robert Zoellick, former World Bank President and current international advisor at Goldman Sachs.

A video of the panel can be watched here.


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