Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) commended health care workers for their efforts in combating the coronavirus at a wreath-laying ceremony held at the War of Independence Victory Monument in Tallinn on Wednesday morning.
"Our past year has seen a fight against a virus in which doctors, nurses and health care officials, the vast majority of whom are women, have had a key role. We are wholeheartedly grateful to them for this," she said.
The prime minister said that the global virus crisis has not turned into a security crisis. She pointed out that the defense forces, in addition to providing support during the crisis, have continued to ensure military preparedness and cooperation with the allies on international operations, as a result of which the pandemic has not affected allied presence or activities in Estonia.
"Membership in NATO and the transatlantic link is the cornerstone of Estonia's security, and our security is an integral part of the security of Europe. All this also requires commitment from us, as friendships and alliances, our will to protect, our reputation and international credibility prove particularly important at a time of crisis," she said.
As to overcoming the crisis, Kallas said that the bulk of the work towards mitigating the impact of the pandemic on economic coping, mental health and gaps in education still lies ahead.
"The start of vaccinations nonetheless gives us reason to be more hopeful and confident than we've been able to be during the past year. In view of this hope, let us celebrate today's anniversary in dignity," she said.
Editor: Helen Wright