Estonia wants permanent NATO bases on its territory, President Ilves says in Norway

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Ilves departed for a state visit to Norway on 2 September, ahead of the US President Barack Obama’s visit to Estonia next day, and two days ahead of the NATO summit in Wales.

At a news conference in Oslo, Estonian President answered positively when inquired about the possibility of permanent NATO bases in Estonia.

“We should not have NATO with two-tier countries – with NATO permanent bases and without. This is a wrong signal to send to the potential aggressor,” Ilves said at the news conference.

At the meeting with Olemic Thommessen, the Speaker of Norwegian Parliament, and Erna Solberg, Norwegian Prime Minister, Ilves emphasised that Estonia and Norway share a mutual understanding about the changed security situation in Europe.

“We have to call things by the right names: the armed forces of Russian Federation are attacking Ukraine. It’s an aggression. Russia is a direct party to the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” the President stressed.

“In times like these, it’s very important to have a united response on behalf of the Western allies and send out a clear message to Russia: a flagrant violation of international law will not be accepted,” Ilves added.

Estonian President welcomed Norway’s decision to join the EU-led economic sanctions package that was imposed on Russia in response to the crisis in east Ukraine.

President Ilves will also give a lecture entitled “25 Years After – Still not Whole and Free!” at the Oslo University.

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