President Kersti Kaljulaid was in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday, attending an event to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
The president, who joined heads of state or government from 16 other European nations, noted that the war effectively ended for Estonia just 25 years ago.
"Today is a sad day in history. For Estonia, World War II actually ended only 25 years ago, when the last vehicles containing the occupying troops' hardware left our soil. The outbreak of war meant for our people, our nation, and the state, more than half a century of suffering, economic regress, and absence of freedom," Kaljulaid said, according to BNS.
"Today, we stand here with many other heads of state to remember and commemorate this day. Only by remembering will we ensure that this is never to be repeated," president Kaljulaid said, after the ceremony.
World War II commenced on Sept. 1 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Two days later, the United Kingdom and France declared war on Germany. Poland was also invaded just over two weeks later, this time from the east, by the Soviet Union.
Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, followed by Nazi German from summer 1941 to late 1944 when the last German forces left Estonian soil. The country was forcibly annexed into the Soviet Union, declaring independence in 1991. The last troops from the Soviet Union's successor state, the Russian Federation, left Estonia on Aug. 31 1994.
Editor: Andrew Whyte