Bill Clinton, a former US president who helped negotiate the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Estonia in 1994, congratulated the country in a video greeting.
Clinton played a key role in convincing Boris Yeltsin, the late Russian president, to sign an agreement with Estonia for the withdrawal of the troops by 31 August 1994.
“Today I am proud to send my congratulations and good wishes to the people of Estonia as you celebrate the 25th anniversary of the withdrawal of Russian troops and the beginning of genuine sovereignty. As president, I worked hard to support Estonia and the other Baltic countries, as you entered a new era of freedom. I believe that a unified, peaceful, democratic Europe is essential to the security and prosperity of all, and I believed it 25 years ago,” Clinton said in a video, broadcast by the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s main evening news programme, Aktuaalne Kaamera.
“Today, when we see so many places over the world where the forces of division and disintegration are tugging at the fabric of our common humanity, the merits of multilateralism are being challenged, even the very value of cooperation over conflict, the steps Estonia has taken over the last 25 years, and the results you have achieved, are more important than ever,” Clinton said.
“You may be small in size and population, but you’re quite large in the potential impact you have, and you will always loom large in my imagination, and with great gratitude. So I congratulate you on this milestone, and I look forward to growing progress and prosperity for all Estonians in the years to come. I hope I can come back and be a part of it someday,” he added.
Clinton served as the 42nd president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Read also: The last Soviet/Russian troops left Estonia 25 years ago.
Cover: Bill Clinton with Lennart Meri, the late Estonian president. Courtesy of Õhtuleht.