Estonia’s Love Affair with Ronald Reagan

Lee Edwards /

While members of Congress, former cabinet members, long-time aides and assorted VIPs were celebrating Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday at the Reagan Presidential Library in sun-baked Simi Valley, California, I was nearly 6,000 miles away in snow-bound Tallinn, Estonia, a small Baltic country bordering on the former Soviet Union.

As a Reagan biographer, I was invited by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Amb. Michael Polt of the U.S. Embassy to keynote a conference on President Reagan’s legacy and U.S.-Estonian relations, which couldn’t be much better in large part because of the memory of Ronald Reagan.

Estonians love our 40th president almost as much as any American because President Reagan was instrumental in gaining for the people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania that most precious of all possessions—freedom.

It was the Reagan Doctrine that put the Soviet Union on the defensive and forced the Kremlin to abandon the arms race and end the Cold War at the bargaining table and not on the battlefield. (more…)