Obama visit doesn’t change relations with Russia, says defiant Estonia FM

  • 2014-09-04
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

U.S. President Barack Obama touches down in Estonia on September 3 (photo: ERR)

U.S President Barack Obama's visit to Estonia doesn't change the countries relations with Russia, Estonia's foreign minister Urmas Paet has said.

"I see Obama's visit as a great friendship act in the Estonia-USA relations. I do not see that it should change our relations with Russia. It is remarkable is that in general, the Russian media spoke of the U.S. visit very little. I guess it refers to the continued unwillingness of Russian power persons regarding the local public learning the messages that Obama says," Paet said public television ETV's evening news program.

"I do not see that it could concern our relations with Russia somehow, since presidents go to visits all the time," Paet emphasized.

Obama in Estonia said the U.S. was unwavering in its commitment to defend the Baltics.

"You lost your independence once before, with NATO you'll never lose it again," says Obama before loud applause in Tallinn," Obama said in a keynote speech in Tallinn on Wednesday.

"We will stand firm and united to meet the test of this moment. We will defend our NAT(O allies and that means every ally.

He added: "The defense of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius is just as important as the defense of Berlin, Paris and London."

Paet says Estonia's voice in NATO is beginning to be heard.

"Estonia does not expect just to be helped or that contributions would be made in our security without ourselves doing anything. The fact we ourselves have invested 2% of GDP in defense costs, even in difficult economic years, is remarkable, he said.

"We ourselves take care about European and our own security and about investing in it. As a result, the Estonian positions have already had clear weight already now, however, the fact that the whole world's attention is on our region and Obama chose Estonia as the location of his visit, is remarkable."