Tarja Halonen: Estonia Should Not Fear Russia

Former Finnish President Tarja Halonen / Credit: presidenthalonen.fi

Finland’s former President Tarja Halonen says Estonia has no reason to fear Russia.

The two-term Social Democrat president made the comments in an interview with Eesti Päevaleht newspaper.

Halonen points out that Estonia is in the EU and NATO, and uses the euro, and has become an independent, mature country.

“That is why we sometimes tell you to calm down, there is no need to panic” Halonen is quotes as saying.

But the former president goes on to say that this does not mean there is no reason to be worried about Russia.

Halonen urges Estonians to remember that even though Finland was ruled by Russia for 100 years; went through the Winter War and Continuation War; lost a large part of its land and had to pay war reparations to Russia,  the country emerged from the other side of those hardships.

However, Halonen concedes in the interview that the Soviet occupation was a very tough time for Estonia. “It is difficult for us to understand” she says.