President Alar Karis, who was sworn in as the next president of Estonia on Monday, is prepared for his role in domestic and foreign politics and upcoming meetings will strengthen his readiness even further, said presidential security adviser Liis Mure.
"He is already in pretty good shape. He has met the Minister of Defense (Kalle Laanet - ed) and the Estonian Defense Forces commander (Martin Herem - ed), visited the 1st Infantry Brigade and met our allies at Tapa," Mure told ERR during Karis' inauguration ceremony on Monday.
The adviser added that there are plans for Karis to have several meetings in NATO and the EU. She noted that Karis senses his role in international communication and considers relationships with important states in the region important.
Mure said transatlantic communication must also be strengthened. "I believe we will see him be active in that field, as well," the adviser said.
Karis was sworn in as president on Monday and noted in his speech in the Riigikogu that foreign relations will remain strong despite the growing conflict in international politics. "We know what we need: A strong Europe and ironclad cooperation over the Atlantic," the president said.
Karis noted that it is important for Estonia to communicate with all of its neighbors. "All of its neighbors, because with some we speak of common actions in the EU, with some of common defense planning, with some of reforms, which made Estonia a successful state and with others about protecting the environment of Lake Peipus, cultural cooperation and modernizing transport connections," the president said.
"In complicated situations, Estonia does not have to look for solutions by themselves, we have strong allies. Good relationships with all allies must be maintained, they do not just appear," Karis added.
Jaak Aaviksoo: Karis a good fit for presidential position
The new president's long-time friend Jaak Aaviksoo told ERR on Monday evening that he was not surprised that Karis was offered the position. "There is a quality about him, which is greater than all the other posts he has held," Aaviksoo said.
The former minister and Tallinn University of Technology rector said Karis is certainly a better team player than him. "He listens. Listens and thinks. The ability to listen is a big thing. He truly thinks about things. He is much less rushed than I am and perhaps even previous president Kersti Kaljulaid. Alar likely has more thoughtfulness," Aaviksoo noted.
He added that while Karis is humorous and means well, he is not someone that gets influenced. "It is not like there are too many winds that would push him. He has perseverance and understanding, which is important. I would decide faster, would like things right away. He has the thoughtfulness and balance, which is valued more highly in that position than activity and haste. The position has fallen into the right hands," Aaviksoo said.
The academic said he does not know which topics will characterize Karis' term, but he will certainly have to work on security policy and IT. Aaviksoo concluded by saying Karis is a good fit for the position and that he hopes to see the president stay for two terms.
Tiit Land: Karis is good to communicate with
"He is a very comfortable person. But not in the sense that he keeps pushing things on, but rather that he is very convenient to communicate with," current Tallinn University of Technology rector Tiit Land told ERR at the inauguration ceremony.
In addition, Karis has an academic background as a former researcher and keeps his word, Land said. The rector said Karis is also decisive and was able to manage tough decisions when he was the rector of the University of Tartu.
"I recommend him to stay himself, he will surely manage then. Estonia is getting a great president," Land said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste