Europe has lessons to learn from Georgia conflict, says Ilves

Georgia Materials 12 August 2008 17:12 (UTC +04:00)

A conflict between Georgia and Russia served as "a testing stone" for Europe's security, Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on Tuesday, dpa reported.

"Europe must reassess its present security and foreign policy and bring it into line with the new reality. We must thoroughly reason out what a significantly changed state of security in Europe's neighborhood means for Estonia," Ilves said in an address to the Estonian nation.

Ilves spoke hours before he, Polish President Lech Kaczynsky, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, Ukraine President Viktor Yuschenko and Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis were to head to Georgia on Tuesday to offer their support.

"All of us who treasure democratic values support Georgia today. A democratic European country has fallen a victim to an aggression," Ilves said.

Ilves challenged the European Union and NATO to take a proactive role in establishing security of the region as the military conflict in Georgia is too close to the external EU borders and concerns a nation that aspires to link its future with Europe and NATO, Ilves said.

"We must take advantage of all the opportunities at our disposal to immediately stop hostilities and prevent further victims in Georgia's territory," Ilves said.