MEP Tunne Kelam’s Speech at Official Ceremonies Marking the 75th Anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. 26.08.2014

Tallinn, August 23, 2014 

The European Parliament’s 2009 Resolution „European Conscience and Totalitarianism“ is a  continuing call to recognize the enormous mass murders carried out by two 20th century totalitarian regimes and to commemorate the victims.

Unlike Nazism, Communist totalitarianism is not dead. Instead, such regimes control the lives of every fifth person in the world.

One statement in the Resolution is particularly noteworthy: it is necessary to achieve a common understanding in Europe that a verdict on Nazi and Communist regimes must be reached on the basis of their horrendous destructive policies which systematically implemented the most extreme forms of terror, repressed all human and civil rights, started wars of aggression and, as an inseparable part of their own ideology, murdered and deported entire nations and segments of the population. These regimes and their deeds must be considered as the main disasters of the 20th century.

August 23, 1939 was the infamous day when two dictators, both aiming to conquer the world,  signed a deal. Regrettably, they were able to reach this deal and subsequently  carve up Europe due to the short-sightedness of democratic nations, their self-centered pragmatic policies and naive hopes that European peace could be bought by appeasing the aggressors.

The focus was on avoiding war, rather than on creating adequate resources and making preparations to curb aggressors. The attempts to avoid war led even to the dismembering of some European nations. A logical connection can be seen between the Munich Agreement in 1938 and the Molotov-Ribbentrop  Pact in 1939. The dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and the annexation of Austria gave both Hitler and Stalin a shot of confidence. Both Hitler and Stalin must have concluded that the priority of their non-authoritarian partners was to avoid a serious conflict.  In all likelihood, this confirmed  the two dictators’  belief that the rule-of-law countries would continue to lack sufficient moral and military commitment and could be further bullied and manipulated.  

The greatest practical problem for Western democracies continues to be how to deal with authoritarian leaders who have a gangster mentality, for whom self interest, use of force, violence and lies justify the breaking of all kinds of rules and agreements.

The immediate consequence of MRP was the beginning of World War II. Both partners sought world domination; both committed the greatest crime against world peace and international rule of  law.

For Estonia the MRP meant that two months later the Red Army, in far greater numbers than the Republic of Estonia’s own armed forces,  entered its territory on the pretext of „defending“ Estonia from possible Nazi invasion. This Soviet military force was decisive in toppling Estonia’s legal government  as well as in annexing Estonia in the summer of 1940.

Political analyst and diplomat Paul Goble, among others, considers the annexation of the Baltic States to be the model for totalitarian aggression and take-overs of other victims. He also sees a direct connection between this model and President Putin’s annexations.

As the Estonian Republic stresses its legal continuity, it must not be forgotten that internationally another kind of continuity exists – the violent and dishonest continuity of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, their mentality and behaviour. It should not be forgotten that already in December 1999, in his role as acting president, Mr. Putin proposed a toast in the Kremlin in honor of Stalin, one of history’s greatest mass murderers.

Today, 75 years later, we are still faced with the problem of an uncompleted job – there is no authoritative international judgement on Communist totalitarianism and its crimes. Would we have a problem today with the Russia that Mr. Putin has managed to create – a nationalistic, anti-Western, aggressive country that twists international law according to its whims – if such a judgement had been made 20 years ago?

Would a Soviet Gestapo spy have become not only the leader of a nuclear-armed nation, but also have been able to bring with him to the heights of power most of his cronies from the criminal KGB? Today we can see that giving a political and moral, internationally binding verdict to the communist regime is not just a nostalgic dealing with the past but is, in fact, a burning real-political challenge. Following  the legal condemnation of  nazism in post-Hitler Germany it became unthinkable that recent Gestapo officers could have reached the position of policy-makers. If a similar judgement of totalitarian communism would have taken place in Russia and elsewhere, we would not  have to face Putin’s revanchist Russia today.

The MRP also made clear that eventually different extremes tend to meet. In fact, the division between extremist left and extremist right has seldom posed insurmountable hurdles. Proof of this is that today’s forces hostile to European democracy both on the left and on the right – from Marine Le Pen to Greek Communists – have united in applauding Putin’s aggressive nationalistic politics.

At the same time, the international security structure has been violated. While democratic nations are issuing protests, they do not have the will  nor the real power convincingly to stand up to the aggressor.

The lessons from 75 years ago make it clear that attempts to buy peace by appeasing an aggressor will sooner or later end in war. 113 years ago, US President Theodore Roosevelt made the following recommendation: „Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far“.  Nowadays, when we are facing threatening neighbours with big modern sticks, relying predominantly on soft speaking won’t change the game. This is particularly true since the economic crisis has depleted the defence budgets of democratic nations most strongly. 

We are in a new situation – history has not ended, it continues, more and more taking the forms of previous centuries. Most of the world is still not democratic. Conflicts, amplified by modern technology and propaganda networks, are involving bigger and bigger areas of the world. Problems are being resolved more and more through the use of force. Those defending the rule of law have not succeeded in making themselves sufficiently heard and felt in Realpolitik.

On this background we need enhanced solidarity and convincing guarantees that NATO forces and military equipment will remain in the Baltic States and Poland until Russian aggression and revanchism really ends. Putting into practice NATO’s  principle „One for all and all for one“  is going to become a crucial test of the very credibility of this democratic organisation of collective security. The security and stability of Central and Eastern Europe can also be beefed up by demonstrating efficient solidarity with regard to Ukraine and every Eastern Neighbourhood country that is aspiring to join the European economic cooperation and  rule-of-law space.  

At the forthcoming NATO Cardiff summit there is an urgent need  to update the 5th Article of the NATO Treaty to accommodate it for repelling any form of modern „fluid“  aggression being carried out under the cover of proxies, „protection“ of minorities  and propaganda warfare.  It would be fatal to allow the post-MRP  model of annexation of the Baltic states to be  used in Ukraine. Only by stopping using  this mixed model of crude force and lies in our immediate neighbourhood, will  we be able to prevent attempts to apply it once again to the Baltic  nations. 

Loe lisaks

Totalitarismiohvrite mälestuspäev 24.08.2013

Euroopa Parlamendi liikme Tunne Kelami kõne Vabaduse väljakul toimunud mälestusmiitingul

Loe lisaks

40 aastat ÜROle Memorandumi saatmisest. 24.10.2012

40 aastat tagasi - 1970te esimesel poolel - tugevnes okupeeritud Eestis masendus.  Brezhnevi kildkond oli ruulinud juba kaheksa aastat.  Hrushtshovi aja uuendused, mille mõningad aspektid inspireerisid teatud lootusi, olid summutatud range tsentralismi poolt.  Eestis süvenes tunnetus rahvuse tuleviku ahistatusest.  Eestlaste massiküüditamised olid küll lakanud, kuid seda asendas metoodiliselt intensiivistuv immigratsioon.  Arvukate mõtlevate inimeste siseteadvuses oli hakanud tiksuma kell - kui kaua veel, kuni Eesti põlisasukad jäävad oma kodumaal vähemuseks?  Igale niiviisi mõtlevale kodanikule oli ilmselge, et kui Moskvast juhitav koloniseerimisprotsess niikaugele  jõuab, võib Eesti riikliku iseseisvuse taastamise lootuse maha matta.  Aktiivseteks protestideks polnud 1970il aastail aga mingit lootust - Nõukogude surveaparaadi haare oli selleks  liig tugev ning rahvas liig suurel määral tasalülitatud. Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelam: kõlbeline kriis 07.06.2012

Postimees, 07.06.2012
Iga kriis on võimalus - võimalus positiivseks muudatuseks juhul kui leidub tahet ja inimesi, kes selleks valmis on. Jagan arusaama, et kriisi jõudmise eest kannavad vastutust kõik - nii need, kes seda teadliku jokk- tegevusega edendasid kui ka need, kes taolist suunda passiiv-selt sallisid. Asi pole lihtsalt ühele või teisele erakonnale tehtud mitteametlike rahasüstide ebaseaduslikkuses või ebakorrektsuses.
Loe lisaks

Kelam: Uue erakonna loomine on pigem õletuli 29.05.2012

Reedel ja laupäeval Jõgevamaad väisanud Europarlamendi liikme Tunne Kelami hinnangul on uue erakonna loomine  kahemõtteline asi, sageli on sellel sama põgus efekt nagu õletulel. Saadakse küll hea tulemus teistes parteides pettunute arvel, kuid see ei taga uue erakonna kvaliteeti. See partei laguneb varsti, temaski pettutakse. Me oleme seda näinud. Sarnane protsess on läbi käidud kogu Euroopa demokraatias. 

Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelam: “Majanduskriis võrsus moraalsest ja väärtuste kriisist” 13.05.2012

Virumaa Teataja, 13.05.2012. Risto Kukk, arvamustoimetaja

Europarlamendi saadik Tunne Kelam külastas hiljuti Rakveret ja esitles siin eragümnaasiumi õpilastele dokumentaalfilmi vastuolulisest Vene oligarhist Mihhail Hodorkovskist.

Kui tihti tuleb ette, et te kooliõpilaste ees üles astute?

See on rutiin. Mulle meeldib. Koolilapsed näitavad kohe välja, kas neil on igav või mitte. Neid ei peta. Kui sa saad nende poolehoiu ja tähelepanu, siis see on sinu seisundi kontroll, kas oled kommunikatsioonivõimeline ja vormis. See on alati mõlemapoolselt kasulik.

Loe lisaks

Mida toob 2012 aasta Euroopa Parlamendis? 23.01.2012

Tunne Kelami artikkel IRLi ajakirjas Konservatiiv, jaanuar 2012

Aasta 2012 tähendab EL-le tervikuna murrangulist aastat. Uude aastasse astume teadmisega, et meil pole majanduse ja rahanduse vallas tegemist ajutise turbulentsiga, vaid võimsa tsükloniga, mis paneb kogu Euroopa koostöösüsteemi õmblustest ragisema. See on tõstatanud täie tõsidusega küsimuse selle koostöö tulevikust ja usaldusväärsusest.

Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelam tutvustas Jõhvis oma fotonäitust 18.01.2012

Reedel tutvustas Tunne Kelam Jõhvi linnagaleriis oma 6. jaanuaril avatud fotonäitust "33 vaadet - Euroopa Parlament väljast ja seest". 2009. aasta kevadeks Euroopa Maja poolt Tunne Kelamilt tellitud näitus on osutunud nii populaarseks, et seda on eksponeeritud juba lisaks Tallinnale ka Tartus, Viljandis, Karksi-Nuias ja nüüd siis Jõhvis.

Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelam: kõndisime 20. augustil nagu noateral 23.08.2011

Lehte Ilvese intervjuu Tunne Kelamiga Lääne Elus 23. augustil 2011. Loe artiklit siit
Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelam 4. juunil Pärnus: „Sinine värv on alati tähistanud sinist taevast, paremat tulevikku, aga see tähistab ka meie seost kõrgema dimensiooniga.” 08.06.2009

Urmas Saard, Maaleht, Pärnumaa blogi pidaja

Allpool on esitatud noppeid Euroopa Parlamendi saadiku Tunne Kelami kõnest, mille ta pidas Eesti lipu 125. aastapäeva tähistamise pidulikul tseremoonial Pärnus, Rüütli platsil.
Loe lisaks

Tunne Kelami viis aastat Euroopa Parlamendis 25.05.2009

Tunne Kelam. Eesti eest Euroopas.
Tallinn, Euroopa Parlamendi saadiku Tunne Kelami büroo, 2009.

Sirje Kiin

Loe lisaks

Postimees: Русские ребята поедут в Брюссель 11.05.2009

В минувшую пятницу были объявлены победители конкурса эссе «Мое государство в Европе», который проводился среди школьников. Главной наградой для них станет поездка в Брюссель. Loe lisaks