News & events »

Marina Kaljurand: the non-recognition policy is still topical today


Today, while speaking at the symposium dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the Sumner Welles declaration and unveiling of the memorial plaque at the hall of the Academy of Sciences, Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand acknowledged the role of the U.S. non-recognition policy in the restoration of Estonian independence. Kaljurand emphasized that non-recognition continues to be topical today in connection with the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and the situation in eastern Ukraine.

“Together we must pursue the vocal condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and strongly carry out non-recognition,” Kaljurand said. “Ukraine must be able to regain control over its internationally recognized borders,” she added.

The United States’ Ambassador Jeffrey D. Levine also spoke at the symposium; he read a paragraph of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the proclamation. “America has watched with admiration, at how the Baltic nations have built up strong democratic institutions and have taken their rightful place in the European and transatlantic community,” the Ambassador paraphrased Secretary of State Kerry.

On 23 July 1940, the acting United States’ Secretary of State Sumner Welles made a statement declaring the occupation of the Baltic countries by the Soviet Union to be illegal. The statement, or Welles declaration, became the basis for the U.S. non-recognition policy regarding the Baltic countries and was in force until the countries regained their independence in 1991.

In addition to the Foreign Minister and Ambassador, others who spoke at the symposium dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the declaration included Andres Kasekamp, Lauri Mälksoo, Thomas Grant and Kaarel Piirimäe. Following the speeches, Ambassador Levine and Foreign Minister Kaljurand unveiled the memorial plaque dedicated to the event.


Marina Kaljurand’s speech (in English)

John Kerry’s statement (in English):



(+372) 637 7654

(+372) 521 6821


© Estonian Embassy in Oslo Parkveien 51, 0244 Oslo, Norway tel. (47) 22 54 00 70, e-mail: