TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was presented with the Transatlantic Leadership Award by the US Center for European Policy Analysis on Tuesday in recognition of her role in supporting Ukraine and strengthening transatlantic cooperation.
In her speech, the prime minister highlighted the role of transatlantic partnership in Estonian history.
"The transatlantic alliance for us Estonians is the real-world expression of freedom. When Estonia became free again after half a century of Soviet occupation, strong transatlantic support gave us the backing and inspiration we needed when building up our democracy," she said.
"Now in Ukraine we are defending the very same idea of freedom, including the idea of territorial integrity, and sovereignty -- that is, the right to exist as a country and the right to live free from repressions. We are living at a time when American long-term bipartisan commitment to NATO and to keeping Europe safe is absolutely vital," Kallas noted.
The premier said that today the broad transatlantic community is more united, in purpose and action, than it has been for some time, but warned that Russia will keep testing us.
"This war is far from over. Ukrainians have proved it is winnable. Ukraine has shown us that high morale and excellent leadership are as important as military power," she went on.
The Transatlantic Leadership Award was presented to the Estonian prime minister at the think tank's annual forum bringing together academics, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs and politicians. The forum consists of three days of discussions on how transatlantic cooperation helps protect democracy and hold aggressors accountable.
The award was also presented this year to Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Last year, the Transatlantic Leadership Award was given to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.