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The President of the Republic presented Pertti Salolainen with an order

Finnish Ambassador to the United Kingdom Pertti Salolainen today at noon at Kadriorg received from President Arnold Rüütel the 2nd Class Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, by which the Estonian Head of State on the occasion of the Independence Day had honoured his services to Estonia.

Pertti Salolainen as Member of Parliament, Minister and Deputy Prime Minister has for a long time participated in Finnish political life and had many-sided contacts with Estonia. President Rüütel highlighted his contribution to the development of political, trade and economic relations between Estonia and Finland. "You have continued in the relationship between our peoples the work once started by Elias Lönnrot, Yrjö Koskinen and President Kekkonen," the Estonian Head of State emphasized.

The President in addition underscored the fact that Pertti Salolainen had brought the Finnish-Estonian environmental cooperation to new heights. The new honoree is the founder of the WWF Finland, bearer of the Gold Badge of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and a master of nature photographs who has arranged a number of exhibitions both in his homeland and abroad. He has made up this year's nature calendar as well.

Ambassador Salolainen thanked Estonia for this high state decoration and wished success to both the Estonian people and the Estonian-Finnish relationship. He said that already many years ago, on his first nature trip to the southern shores of the Gulf of Finland, he had noticed a strong sense of national identity here, the results of which he later along with his fellow countrymen has had the pleasure to witness with appreciation.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 28, 2003

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