At the seminar dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that the role of the 40th president of the United States in history was made special by his firm belief in the value of freedom and democracy and his goal to help other nations, including Estonia, share in these values. “Reagan saw clearly that the peoples of Eastern Europe do not want to live under foreign rule and decided to help them be freed from this rule,” he stated.
In his speech, Paet highlighted President Reagan’s actions that helped lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union. “He expressed clear and unambiguous support for the efforts of Estonia and other European peoples to achieve national independence, regardless of the nation’s size or its location in a complicated geopolitical area,” said Paet. “The US government listened and was ready to help the representatives of all peoples under totalitarian regimes,” the foreign minister added.
Foreign Minister Paet said that for the people of Estonia and other European nations yearning for freedom, it was very important that the government of the USA supported European peoples’ right to freedom. “For us this was clearly expressed by the Welles Declaration on the non-recognition of the annexation, signed in 1940,” Paet noted. “Since then all presidents of the United States used this declaration as a basis, although prospects for actually carrying it out were insignificant for decades,” he added.
Today Europe is more stable and secure than it has been for many generations in the past, and Foreign Minister Paet stated that the United States has made a great contribution to help this happen. “Unfortunately not all European nations have the opportunity today to appreciate freedom – for some freedom is forbidden; some would like to be free but are deterred by the difficulties of transitioning to democracy,” stated Paet. “Europe and America are very reliable partners to each other, and they give hope to those who are not yet free,” he added.
Paet: President Reagan’s Belief in Freedom and Democracy Played Import Role in Restoration of Estonia’s Independence (1)