A Turbulent 2010 Brings Success For U.S. and Estonia

An eventful year 2010 has marked and shaped my first year in Estonia.  Political, economic, environmental and other powerful influences have challenged U.S. and Estonian leaders.  The final tally is very positive.  America, with the help of friends like Estonia,  dealt successfully with environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  Our economy is recovering — too slowly in terms of our unemployment picture–but market trends are clearly up.  On the diplomatic front we ratified a landmark new strategic arms treaty with Russia that will improve security and transparency not just for us and Russia, but for Estonia and NATO as well.  In Tallinn and Lisbon we set the stage this year together for the Alliance in the 21st century.  Estonia and the U.S. actively exercised our combined military capabilities together, both on NATO territory and further afield.

Estonia is completing its turbocharged 20-year journey from re-independence to full European, transatlantic, and global integration tomorrow at midnight when Prime Minister Ansip holds in his hands that first Estonian euro.  Symbolic of so much more than just a new currency for the country, Estonia’s entry into the eurozone is even more significant because the euro has been through some difficult times this past year.  Estonia’s cooly responsible economic and financial policies are exactly what the euro needs today and, as usual, its government is ready to step up and carry the burdens as well as the benefits of a common European currency.  Estonia will begin 2011 on the best possible footing, economically, politically, militarily, and in every other way — to seize new opportunities and contribute to common efforts with its partners on both sides of the Atlantic.

For 2011, I am looking forward to building on the already excellent U.S.-Estonian with an eye not only to our strategic relationship, but also the people to people bonds.  We will work on U.S. companies bringing jobs to Estonia and for Estonian investments enhancing U.S. business activities.  We will keep pushing hard on U.S. digital content access for eager E-stonian consumers.  And we Americans will be active participants in an exciting Tallinn Cultural Capital of Europe 2011.

Hallie and I and my entire team at U.S. Embassy Tallinn are most grateful for our friendships here in Estonia and wish us all a great 2011 together!

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5 Comments

Filed under economy, good governance, Peace and Security, U.S. -Estonian Relations, U.S. Foreign Relations

5 responses to “A Turbulent 2010 Brings Success For U.S. and Estonia

  1. Another 1

    Mr Polt, do you have an e-mail address where I might write you?

    Thanks!

    Ole tubli!

    Jerry

  2. Kimmo Kamarik

    Dear Ambassador Michael C. Polt,

    My name is Kimmo Kamarik and I`m Estonian citizen. Recently I traveled to United States of America and my entrance to the country was quite shocking, to be honest with you. I didn`t feel like Iwould have been treated like a vistitor from allied country but rather like a prisoner of Quantanamo bay prison. I understand that terrorism threat is clobal and you have to be careful but treating your allies like that might leave you very lonely in nearby future.
    I entered United States on 28 th of december with flight number NK 160 from San Jose Costa Rica to Miami Fort Lauderdale airport. If you do not belive me you can check the security tapes of that day.
    I also advice you to look a movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQv-sdMCClQ it`s name is End of Liberty and it will help you to understand what kind of treatment I got on boarder.
    I`m not doing this to discredit you in anyways, I`m actualy worried about you and your country Americans, but we can not help you before you do not admit that you have a problem.
    I wolud like to hear you opinnion on this subject after you have watched the movie. Also I would like to meet with you in person someday, so we could discuss what to do about this delicate matter.
    My e-mail is kimmo@equila.ee and my telephone number is +372 56 58 004 .

    Yours Sincerely ,

    Kimmo Kamarik

    • Kimmo:

      My apologies for a slight delay in responding to you, but I just returned from the United States myself. I am concerned about your acount of the issues you encountered on entry into the United States last December. In implementing our country’s laws regarding foreign visitors, we always want to be courteous, correct, and most welcoming to all our guests. I am eager to learn details of what happened and have asked the Chief of our Embassy’s Consular Section, Consul Patrick McNeil, to get in touch with you right away to get your full account. He is also ready to give you information that explains our government’s special program for addressing travelers’ concerns regarding difficulties they encountered at points of entry into the United States. Estonia and Estonians are our close friends and allies. If you have a concern, we have a concern. My colleague wil be in touch with you very soon.

  3. william cline

    Visitors should not judge the US by their experiences with the TSA. They are doing a job. Please reserve judgement until you have met the average American Citizen. Other than a difference in languages you will probably find the US Citizen is not really much different than the average Estonian Citizen. One thing you might find strange though is when you are driving in the midwest or any rural section of America people whom you have never even met waving a hand in “Hello”. If you stop for a meal pick a resturant that has older cars or pickup trucks in the parking lot. By the time you finish your meal someone will have noticed they do not know you. Expect them to stop at your table and ask if they can help you find anything in their area. My Estonian wife still finds this greeting unusual to her. “How do they know, I am not an American?” I tell her it is the same as if you saw a stranger in the elevator near their flat. If you are a courteous person you would ask if that stranger needed help. I wish travel companies and airlines would make travel to and from Estonia less costly. A vacation from and to either country would let us know each other better. My Estonian family by marriage includes 3 Grand Daughters. My wife says “you spoil them to much”. I tell her that is what Grand fathers do no matter if they are Estonian or American.

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