Interview conducted by Simeon Nunnally, iF Atlanta
As a member of the International Focus (iF) Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia and on behalf of the Publisher and CFO, Cynthia L. Blandford, I am delighted to interview you today on the occasion of a reception honoring the Estonian Ambassador to the United States of America H.E. Mr. Kristjan Prikk. I wish to thank the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia Honorable Aadu J. Allpere and Mrs. Allpere for this warm invitation to be here today.
Congratulations on the 104th anniversary of the independence of Estonia and the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relationships between Estonia and the United States of America. Congratulations on such a tremendous accomplishment. Please tell us more about this special occasion and what do you hope to achieve while you are here in Atlanta.
This is my first visit to Atlanta, so it’s been more like a fact-finding mission. I would love to bring Estonian business and government officials here to Atlanta in the near future considering that Atlanta is such a hub for international business. It’s a strong center for fintech companies. Atlanta has potential for self-driving vehicles, the kind of business and industry that are also gaining attraction in Estonia. We would like to find interested partners here in the near future.
What are some past present, and future goals for you Mr. Ambassador?
When it comes to my role to build relationships between Estonia and the United States, it is my goal and interest to be positively involved in all areas related to economic and national security. In order to do that, we need to nurture relationships and traditional business in that also include cultural and academic affairs. It’s the connection to this network that Atlanta provides. My past, present, and future goals is to make sure that whenever I leave this position that I have made more connections between Estonia and the United States. Connections that actually do matter and where people can proudly claim they know something about Estonia and that they have partners in Estonia that they care about in Estonia and vice-versa.
Tell us about your perspective regarding international trade and development.
When it comes to international connections people do want to find new opportunities. People want to develop their own countries economy. International relations keep relationships going. This is very important. What I think is relevant, now due to the pandemic, is to understand that government plays a role in increasing international relationships, which is vital for ones economy. Their maybe other opportunities for my country and for other fine countries like the US. There are new areas to research. We are going to produce items for the international community so we should find ways to move our countries forward. Trade is very important and to overall increase both countries’ GDP.
February 24th is the Independence Day for Estonia, would you like to give us some information on how Estonia was founded?
It is a story of determination. A story of seizing the moment. A story of stepping up. In 1918, the first World War (at the time it was known as the Great War in Europe) was about competition and battles between different empires, the German Empire, the Austria Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and of course the British Empire. February 1918 was the moment when the German Empire was pushing ahead hoping to conquer the then capitol of Russia. The Russian Empire was withdrawing, and the Germans were advancing. Our founding fathers were able to seize a moment of just two days to publicly declare that despite the Great War going on, they wanted Estonia to be a free country. Freedom and liberty apply to all the ethnic groups of people living in the territory of Estonia, and with no discrimination. From the beginning of the 1920s, we were able to start building our own State. One of the most forward-leading constitutions in the world.
Thank you Mr. Ambassador for this interview and again on behalf of iF Magazine, congratulations on the 104th anniversary of the independence of Estonia and the 100th anniversary of the diplomatic relationships between Estonia and the United States of America.