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The President of the Republic completed his working visit to Finland

President Lennart Meri returned from his two-day working visit to the Republic of Finland at noon today. Yesterday, President Meri delivered a presentation in the Assembly Hall of Helsinki University on the seminar ''Estonia 1991-2001'' organised by the Tuglas Society and the Paasikivi Society, and spoke about Estonia's independence. Also Professors Seppo Zetterberg and Rein Ruutsoo spoke at the seminar. The presentations were followed by a discussion focusing on the development of Estonian-Finnish relations during the years of occupation in Estonia and at the time of independence of both countries. Questions were asked also about Estonia's NATO membership, and President Meri confirmed that this would add to the security of the entire Baltic Sea region. Also social affairs in the Estonian society were discussed, as well as the results of the work of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes against Humanity.

Also Mauno Koivisto, the President of Finland also in 1991, attended the seminar, and President Meri continued the discussion with him on the lunch offered by the Paasikivi Society. In the afternoon, President Meri and President Koivisto visited the exhibition at the Finnish Military Museum and saw a multi-video-programme of the events of World War II.

In the presence of the Presidents Lennart Meri and Mauno Koivisto, a memorial plaque was opened on the wall of the house of the Tuglas Society at Mariankatu, in the centre of Helsinki. With this plaque, the Finnish public commemorates Estonia's return to the family of independent democratic countries. On August 19-23, 1991, the premises of the Tuglas Society became the office of Lennart Meri, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs; from here, he conducted the restoration of Estonia's diplomatic relations with the countries of the world.

In Finland, President Lennart Meri also met General Gustav Hägglund, Chairman of the Military Committee of the European Union, to discuss the security problems of the European Union, and also those of Estonia and Finland, as well as the successful training young Estonian officers have been receiving in Finland.

Press Service of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 14, 2001


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