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President of the Riigikogu in Latvia: Baltic States need allies with same values to survive

Speaking in Jūrmala at an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the restoration of Latvian independence on Sunday, President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said that the only chance the Baltic States had in lasting as independent countries was by finding allies which shared their values.

"The Baltics are not only countries that have ended up next to each other on a world map, but also companions in fate," the Riigikogu Press Service quoted Nestor as saying. "We can be proud that decades under the authority of the occupying regime did not smother our yearning for freedom or break our faith in democracy and personal freedoms. In the 1990s we chose the free world, democracy and openness — today we must be ready, together with our friends and allies, to defend these values."

According to Nestor, both the Baltic States and the world around them had changed a great deal in 25 years, however their only chance of lasting as states would be by finding allies who shared their values. Which is why, in his opinion, they must continue to work daily toward the continuity of the Baltic States as well as organizations important to them, including NATO and the EU.

In his Estonian-language speech, delievered prior to the gala concert held in Jūrmala, Nestor recognized the Latvian politicians and people who chose to reconfirm Latvia's independence 25 years ago and expressed hope that the next 25 years would be just as industrious and successful.

The Riigikogu president stressed the fact that for Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, the continued preservation of their people, langauge and culture was of crucial importance. He expressed hope that their future children and grandchildren would be proud Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, but also dignified Europeans and citizens of the world, who would understand just how high the cost of freedm was and would comprehend their responsibility in helping their friends, states and peoples who did not have the right to freely speak and make decisions.

During the day, Nestor visited the Latvian capital of Riga and laid flowers at the foot of the Freedom Monument there. On Monday, he will be taking part in a meeting with parliamentary leaders of Nordic and Baltic leaders known as the NB8 in Riga, which will also include presidents of the parliaments of Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, FInland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik

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