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The President of the Republic hopes for Russia to turn its glance towards the future

Estonia is still hoping for the Russian Federation to turn its glance into the future and stop repeating the absurdity as if the Republic of Estonia had joined the Soviet Union voluntarily in 1940, said President Lennart Meri in his speech held to the victims of World War II on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds. ''And the conclusion of certain Russian politicians that Estonia has no right to became a member of NATO makes us shrug,'' said President Meri. According to the President, Estonia has already made its choices. ''Being together, we feel our strength, our will-power, dignity and determination to go on till we can safely say: Estonia has regained its place where we have always belonged, in Europe,'' said President Meri.

According to the President, the Estonian people are well aware of the meaning of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, i.e. the Hitler-Stalin pact, with which two cruel dictators tried to divide the world among themselves into zones of influence with their red pencil. ''That red pencil cut also through our destiny and our soul. It has claimed a huge number of victim from among our people. We have, however, been stronger than our destiny, we have learnt from the mistakes of the past and will not repeat them,'' said the President, according to whom Estonia could inspire its Eastern neighbour Russia with courage, as a state with a clean past will also have a clean future.

At the last, 15th ceremony ''Estonia Remembers'' held today on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, the President awarded to the victims of the violence of foreign power, his fellow sufferers, more than 1,300 ''Broken Cornflower'' badges. In all counties all over Estonia the President shook hands with about 10,000 victims of foreign power and awarded the ''Broken Cornflower'' badges to them. More than twenty thousand victims of World War II participated in the ''Broken Cornflower'' meetings.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, June 13, 2001


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