Dear Singers. Dear People.
Our Song Festival has always been about Freedom, from the first festival one hundred and fifty years ago.
We have sung in celebration of Freedom.
We have sung of the lack of Freedom.
We have sung of our intense yearning for freedom.
And we have been silent, when we could not sing of these things.
We have sung ourselves free.
And we sing to remain free.
For Freedom cannot be silent.
Freedom is our Song.
I declare the 26th Song Festival open.
Long Live Estonia!
"The Russia-fuelled crisis in Ukraine has now become a long-term global threat. Therefore, the NATO summit in September must convey a powerful signal to show that we can respond quickly to the increased threat and ensure the security of our people. Each East-European state must also treat the situation with the utmost seriousness and increase their defence expenditure," told the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, today at the meeting of the East-European heads of state to discuss the security of the region prior to the NATO Summit this autumn.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, tonight visited the Netherlands Embassy in Tallinn and made an entry into a book of condolences, which was opened after the crash of a Malaysia Airlines airplane above Eastern Ukraine.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, will today leave for Warsaw to take part in tomorrow's meeting of the heads of state of the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania and the Visegrad group states – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The aim of the meeting is to develop a common position prior to the NATO Summit in September on the Russia-fuelled crisis in Ukraine and to assess its possible influence on global security.