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The President of the Republic met with Javier Solana

President Arnold Rüütel at Kadriorg met with Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Javier SolanaPresident Arnold Rüütel today at Kadriorg met with Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana who is on a visit to Estonia.

Secretary-General Solana was interested in life in Estonia now when one year had passed since the accession to the European Union. According to Solana, after that short period of time it was possible to say that Estonia was a full-fledged member of the EU family and shared the same values, doing it as naturally as if it had been there already since the conclusion of Treaty of Rome. According to the President of the Republic, public opinion studies were showing increasing support to the European Union, which in its turn proved the rightness of the chosen path.

Being the leader of the EU Common Foreign Policy, Javier Solana was also interested in Estonia's viewpoint how the European Union could arrange its further relations with Russia. According to the Secretary-General, Russia is currently living through a period of big changes, but the further developments are not clear yet. President Rüütel thought that the European Union should help Russia to carry out its democratisation process, but stressed that the prerequisite of such process was that Russia had to show its will to democratize the country.

"Estonia wishes to develop its relations with Russia within the framework of the EU policy of Four Common Spaces. Though our relations with Russia have been complicated throughout our history, we wish to develop good relations with Russia in all fields. Acting on good will, Estonia wishes in every way to facilitate the deepening of democratisation process in Russia. For the same reasons we intensify our relations with Ukraine, Georgia and with other states within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy," the head of Estonian state said.

In the words of President Rüütel, Estonia wishes to remain itself and talk truthfully about the past and the present. "A democratic society cannot be built on lies, deceit and cruelty. Therefore, it is important that also Russia would recognise and acknowledge the historical reasons that are casting shadow on possibilities to develop good neighbourly relations today. We wish that the whole world would understand the complicated historical background of the Baltic states' relations with Russia, and would help Russia to get rid of that legacy of the past," the head of Estonian state said.

"Estonia does not want to hear any more groundless accusations resulting from political tactics. We must settle our differences constructively so that they would not restrain the present and the future of our relations. Estonia managed to restore its independence without loss of lives, and did it using parliamentary means, which can be used as a good example for political processes elsewhere in the world. We follow the same peaceful policy also today," the President of the Republic claimed.

Also Secretary-General Solana pointed out the importance of good relations with the neighbours of the EU, and stressed that the message of conciliation had to be passed from one generation to the next. "This marvellous edifice - the European Union - has been built on conciliation. We do not want to force our views on anybody; we would just like to explain what we have achieved. But it is clear that out of all the possible directions it would be easiest for Russia to look towards the west. The European Union wishes to cooperate closely with Russia for the sake of progress," Secretary-General of the Council of the EU Javier Solana said.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, April 22, 2005

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