President Kaljulaid: Stance of democratic countries and their people is key

Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at this year's Lennart Meri Conference, in Tallinn.
Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at this year's Lennart Meri Conference, in Tallinn. Source: Annika Haas/Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia

The posture of democratic countries and their will to defend their values, is key to security, not particular deterrence measures or arms control treaties, President Kersti Kaljulaid says.

Speaking at the annual Lennart Meri Conference (LMC) in Tallinn Friday, the president stated that political leadership in the democratic world depends on its citizens and their confidence in the valus of freedom and their confidence in free states' ability to defend those values and promote them globally.

Speaking at the LMC's evening dinner, Kaljulaid said: "A global posture of the democratic alliance. A global posture of these nations and leaders who believe in universal human rights, in universal right for every democratically elected government to choose independently the best future for their people, independent of the fact whether they are able to forcefully defend that right."

History tests constantly whether the leaders of free nations are truly and sincerely defending our way of life, she went on. "One of the most visible tests is our ability to support the ambitions of those who want to join our universe, but are held back by fateful turns of history: Pressing examples in Europe include Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and the western Balkans."

The outgoing president called Lithuania's stance on the situation in its neighbor to the east, Belarus, and its championing that country's citizens, heroic.

Estonia backs that stance she added: "We act, we do not transact our values." 

The 14th annual LMC, organized by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS)  (ICDS) continues through Saturday and Sunday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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