TALLINN – Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said on Tuesday that Estonia having risen to fourth place in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders and covering 180 countries is wonderful news and a great recognition for Estonia and its journalists and people.
"Estonia has a leading role in defending media freedom in the world. A specific demonstration of this was the global conference on media freedom organized by Estonia in February, where we cooperated closely with Reporters Without Borders," the minister said according to spokespeople, adding that Estonia also considers it crucial to counter Russia's information war against Ukraine.
The minister recalled that the speakers at the global conference on media freedom in Tallinn included Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitri Muratov, who spoke about the ever-decreasing possibilities for the free media to operate in Russia.
"Exactly two weeks later, Russia began its full-scale war against Ukraine, having attempted to prepare the ground with propaganda and misinformation and various hybrid war elements for a long time before that," the minister said.
She said the media was also being used for hiding and distorting the truth in Russia about the horrors of war and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine.
"For example, the media is not allowed to call it a war," Liimets noted.
Russia's war in Ukraine has led to the death of several journalists who gave their lives to tell the world about the crimes against humanity committed by Russia against the people of Ukraine. Journalists also have an important role in documenting Russia's actions for legal proceedings, for example by the International Criminal Court.
According to Reporters Without Borders, seven journalists have been killed and 11 have been injured in Ukraine since Feb. 24.
Estonia is ranked in fourth place in the World Press Freedom Index covering 180 countries published by Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday, after placing 15th on the 2021 list.