President gives interview to Financial Times

President Kersti Kaljulaid.
President Kersti Kaljulaid. Source: (ERR)

In an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, President Kersti Kaljulaid pointed out that Estonia regarded itself a full ally in NATO, not just a consumer of the protection provided by others.

The president was keen to put the recent arrival of additional U.S. military equipment in a broader perspective, the paper wrote. Kaljulaid pointed out that Estonia was one of the few NATO members that met the goal of spending at least 2 percent of GDP on defense, and had fought alongside its allies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Estonia saw itself as an equal ally, not as a consumer of security provided by someone else, the president said, adding that because of this situation, there was no reason for Estonians to be afraid.

Kaljulaid made it very clear that Moscow is to blame for the current change for the worse in Europe’s security situation.

Good intentions and interests of other countries and heads of state notwithstanding, Russia was unpredictable and didn’t respect its obligations, the president said. She pointed out that every incoming U.S. president had tried to improve relations with Russia, but also warned that once Trump started doing deals with Putin, there was no telling where things might go.

If there was a chance for real improvement, and if no deal with Russia would come at the expense of another independent nation, everybody would welcome it, Kaljulaid said.

In its article, the Financial Times also touched on the recent change of government, pointing out that the Center Party’s agreement with Putin’s party, United Russia, had left questions unanswered.

Kaljulaid said that the government of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) might help Estonia’s social cohesion, as it represented the part of the population on a lower income as well.

“They look more at the people who feel they are looking in through the window at other people’s parties. This hopefully helps us to avoid some of the problems that western European countries are facing by having alienated people who could not join in the [gains of] globalisation,” the president said.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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