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The Head of the Estonian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Marko Mihkelson spoke at the high level Kyiv (Kiev) Security Forum, saying that without a strong strive for independence from the part of Ukraine, Estonia and many other Eastern European states would not be members of NATO today.


In his speech yesterday, Mihkelson stressed that the peaceful, democratic and yet politically unwavering decision of Ukraine to leave the Russian empire in 1991, and the consequent voluntary renunciation of nuclear weapons, opened the door for many European nations to secure their freedom and security through NATO membership.

“The impact of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence in 1991 can be compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. This paved the way for the conclusive collapse of the Soviet empire, and the sovereignty of the Eastern European nations in the field of security,” Mihkelson said.

“Now it is up to us to do everything in our power to defend Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union and NATO. It is a marathon; but even the longest marathon has a finish line. Estonia must combine forces with its allies to point out the exact finish line to Ukraine,” Mihkelson said.

Other participants in the panel Joining forces to fight for freedom were Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, Minister of Defence of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak, and Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Raimundas Karoblis.

The patron of the high level Security Forum is the former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Speakers of the forum included President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, recent presidential candidate Anatoliy Hrytsenko, and many others. The Forum was launched in 2007.

Riigikogu Press Service
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