President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor said today in Jūrmala in a speech dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the restoration of independence of Latvia that the Baltic States could survive as sovereign states only if they found allies sharing the same values.
“The Baltic States are not only countries that happen to be side by side on the map of the world, they also share the same fate,” Nestor stated. “We can be proud that decades under the oppression of the occupation regime did not destroy our desire for freedom or break our faith in democracy and personal liberties.”
“In the 1990s, we chose the free world, democracy and openness, today we must be ready to defend these values together with our friends and allies,” he added.
Nestor said that both the Baltic States and the world around us had changed a lot in 25 years, and if we wanted to survive as sovereign states, we had to find allies that shared the same values we do. Therefore we have to work every day so that the Baltic States and the organisations that are important to us, like NATO and the European Union, would move on.
In the speech he gave in Estonian before the concert in Jūrmala, Nestor acknowledged the politicians and people of Latvia who 25 years ago made the decision to restore their independence, and expressed hope that the next 25 years would be as active and successful for the Baltic States.
Nestor emphasised that the surviving of our nations, languages and cultures over times is vey important for the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians. He wished that our children and grandchildren would be proud Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, but also dignified Europeans and citizens of the world who understood how high the price of freedom is and were aware of our responsibility to help our friends, the peoples and nations who do not have the right to speak and make decisions freely.
Today Nestor also laid flowers at the Freedom Monument in Riga. Tomorrow he will participate in the meeting of the speakers of parliaments of the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States.
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