President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will today give a presentation at the opening panel of "The Limits of Order" conference dedicated to the core idea of the Lennart Meri Conference. He will focus on European and trans-Atlantic security and threats that we have to face as a consequence of the activities of Russia.
The men and women who have participated in international military operations have helped ensure that Estonia can count on the assistance of our allies, said Defence Minister Sven Mikser in his address to servicemen on the occasion of Veterans Day. “Through your hard work and contribution, you have earned the respect and recognition of our allies,“ Mikser said to the veterans. “Thanks to you, Estonian people can feel safe, be sure that Estonia is well protected and, if necessary, know that our allies will come to our aid.”
According to Mikser, the state has implemented Veterans Policy since 2012 with the aim of compensating veterans for their contribution. “Over the years, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces have developed several support measures, such as surety for veterans’ home loans, pension supplement and retraining allowance. We have also worked out several support measures for injured veterans and their families.”
The Minister of Defence says it is important that society recognises veterans. "I am glad that national flags are being flown today in your honour all over Estonia and thousands of people are wearing Blue Hepatica flower pins in your support,” noted Mikser in his address to veterans.
In accordance with Veterans Policy, veterans are Estonian citizens who have taken part in the service of the Defence Forces in defending the state by military means or in international military operations as part of the Defence Forces, as well as all Defence Forces and active Defence League members who have been injured during their service and have therefore lost their capacity for work.
Over the past 20 years, Estonia has dispatched approximately 2,700 men and women on missions abroad. Veterans Policy is designed to support all of them and their families.
Today, Veterans Day will be marked with commemoration events in Paldiski and Tori Church and with the opening of an Afghanistan-themed exhibition in the Estonian War Museum. The highlight of Veterans Day will be the Veteranirock concert at Vabaduse Square in Tallinn tonight at 21:00, which will be broadcast live by ETV.
For the first time, Veterans Day is an official flag day.
Deputy Director of the Strategic Communications Department of the Ministry of Defence
Estonia's security will be safe when, aside from modern soldiers, warfare and powerful deterrence, we also have a coherent society, third sector thinking and voluntary efforts and good education, said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves yesterday in his speech at a dinner organised by the Carolin Illenzeer Foundation.
Yesterday in Washington, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is the co-chair of the World Bank's World Development Report advisory panel, led the discussion on the preparation of the World Bank's most influential report next year, Internet and Development, together with World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Evelin Ilves have decided to dissolve their marriage, which was concluded in 2004. They have reached this decision mutually. According to their agreement, the divorce will take effect on 30 April 2015.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, will today fly to the United States of America on a work visit, where he will co-chair the World Bank's World Development Report advisory panel, which is meeting to discuss the preparation of the World Bank's most influential report next year, Internet for Development.
Today in Tallinn, German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen and Estonian Minister of Defence Sven Mikser discussed the security situation in the Baltic Sea region and spoke of cooperation. “Estonia is strong and together with our allies we can deter every possible aggressor,” Mikser told journalists at a press conference. "Let’s not allow ourselves to be frightened by talk of the next targets of Russian aggression.”
Mikser highlighted Estonia’s close defence cooperation with Germany and said that Germany’s numerous times heading the Baltic Air Policing Mission in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, has had a very high profile. “We are grateful to Germany for its contribution and we welcome the Luftwaffe back in September 2015 to head a new rotation,” said Mikser.
The Estonian defence minister said he welcomed Germany’s decision to deploy Bundeswehr offices to a NATO leadership element to be created along the alliance’s borders. Mikser said the step was a strong sign of the alliance’s unity and serious intentions to increase the deterrence effect even further.
Von der Leyen said Germany shared Estonia’s concerns and perceptions of threats. “The same concerns and perceived threats for Estonia are also perceived by us. Your concerns are our concerns as well,” said von der Leyen. “There is no doubt in the unity of the North Atlantic alliance, Article Five holds.”
Von der Leyen said joint exercises and continuing participation in the Baltic Air Policing Mission would continue to set the tone in Estonian-German defence cooperation. “This year as well, four fighter aircraft are committed to the Baltic Air Policing mission and these planes will be based at Ämari Air Base,” said von der Leyen. “German Defence Forces personnel will take part in international exercises in Estonia this year and next year as well.”
At the bilateral meeting, von der Leyen received a thorough overview of the security situation in the Baltic Sea region as well as of Russia’s military activities. Bilateral defence cooperation and activities in NATO were under discussion.
Von der Leyen visited Estonia today and met President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and Minister of Defence Sven Mikser. She also visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Von der Leyen leaves Estonia this afternoon and heads onward to Latvia.
Photographs of the visit of the German defence minister: http://pildid.mil.ee/Saksamaa-liitvabariigi-kaitseminister-Ursula-von-der-Leyeni-Eesti-visiit-14-04-2015?page=2
Deputy director of the strategic communication department of the Ministry of Defence
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves discussed Europe's security situation with the German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen and how NATO as an alliance of collective defence should constitute deterrence with a permanent presence in the Baltic States.