The President of the Baltic Assembly Laine Randjärv and the President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor stressed in their speeches at the 33rd Session of the Baltic Assembly that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is a serious threat to peace.
“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shown that agreements and commitments do not count, and this ignores and arbitrarily manipulates public opinion,” Randjärv said when opening the session. “Such activities cannot be regarded as anything other than a threat to global peace and security.”
Randjärv added that the current geopolitical developments are clearly reflected in the agenda of the session of the Baltic Assembly. Besides discussions on cooperation in transport and infrastructure, health care and research, the energy sector and digital market, the focus is also on regional security, defence capability, soft power and the EU Eastern Partnership.
“The Baltic Assembly was born together with the restored independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – in autumn 1991. The situation was still tense and insecure in the region at that time,” Nestor said. “Mutual cooperation gave us much power and strength. We felt that three times one equals at least a two digit number.”
Nestor said that today the security situation in Europe is tense again. “By occupying and annexing Crimea, and starting military activities in Eastern Ukraine, Russia has seriously challenged Western democracy and peace,” he added. “We have a reason to be concerned about what has happened and is happening, but we can be calm. We are no longer alone.”
The President of the Riigikogu noted that the Baltic countries have successfully integrated into the family of Western democracies. “We are bound by our membership in the European Union and brotherhood in arms in NATO. We, too, have our contribution as to what the joint reply of Western democracies to the aggressor will be and how clear it will be,” he said.
Nestor said that today’s agenda of the Baltic Assembly includes issues that, when realised, will significantly improve the competitiveness and security of our countries: development of transport and infrastructures, adoption of cross-border digital signatures, improving joint defence capability, and cooperation with Eastern Partnership countries.
The Baltic Assembly Session started with the award ceremony for students of the three Baltic states who won the essay competition in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way. The competition was held in three age groups – the 10th grades, the 11th grades and the 12th grades. In Estonia, Saku Gymnasium stood out with active participation and took three first prizes: Katre Kärner, Kadi Lõhmus and Indrek Valgma.
More detailed information on the schedule and presenters of the 33rd Session of the Baltic Assembly and the 20th Baltic Council is available here.
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