On June 1, the conference table of the Administrative Council of the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" was decorated not only with flags of the European Union, Ukraine and the university pennant, but also with the blue, black and white tricolor of Estonia: that day the President of the Republic of Estonia Alar Karis visited the university.
The head of the state, which is one of Ukraine's most reliable partners, was accompanied by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to Ukraine Kaimo Kuusk, Rector of Tallinn University of Technology Tiit Land, Vice-Rector for Research Tiit Lukk and others.
The delegation of distinguished guests was greeted by the rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Mykhailo Zgurovsky, vice-rectors of the university, heads and teachers of a number of faculties and students.
After the Estonian officials, educators and scientists got acquainted with the university and its history (a short tour was conducted by the rector), as well as a tour of the expositions of the State Polytechnic Museum named after Academician Borys Paton, the conversation about what unites the peoples of our countries, about the support that the Estonian people provide to the Ukrainian people in their struggle against the russian aggressor, and about what provides a solid foundation for further cooperation between our countries took place in the hall of the Administrative Council.
At the beginning of the meeting, Vice-Rector for International Relations, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Sergiy Sydorenko, in particular, informed the audience about the 20-year experience of cooperation between Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and partners in Estonia, the main one being Tallinn University of Technology, After that, the President of the Republic of Estonia Alar Karis spoke to KPI students and scientists about his country and its place in the European Union, recalled some dramatic pages of its past and the transformations in all spheres of life that it has experienced over the past 35 years, as well as its present and prospects. Of course, he also spoke about the assistance that Estonia has been providing to Ukraine and Ukrainians since the beginning of russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, as well as its support for Ukraine's European aspirations. At the end of his speech, he answered numerous questions from the audience and talked to journalists.
It is worth noting that there were a lot of students and they asked very different questions, including why he decided to change his scientific work to political activity. This question, by the way, was not accidental, because Alar Karis, as a specialist in molecular genetics, has achieved remarkable results: he worked, trained and conducted research in the laboratories of several European universities, was elected rector of the Estonian University of Natural Sciences and the University of Tartu, and for some time was director of the Estonian National Museum. Therefore, it is obvious that his visit to Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute was quite interesting for him, as well as the issue of scientific cooperation between Estonian and Ukrainian scientists.
The next day, the topic of scientific and educational cooperation between scientists, educators and students of both countries was further developed: KPI was once again visited by the rector of Tallinn University of Technology, Tiit Land. The conversation with him, which was attended by Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Rector Mykhailo Zgurovsky, Vice-Rector for International Relations Serhiy Sydorenko, Vice-Rector for Research Vitaliy Pasichnyk, heads of a number of institutes and faculties of the university, as well as heads of departments involved in research and international project activities, concerned very specific issues. One of them, at the suggestion of Mykhailo Zgurovsky, was the issue of signing a new broad agreement on cooperation between Tallinn University of Technology and Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. This cooperation should cover the educational, scientific, innovative and humanitarian spheres, and, of course, put student exchanges on a solid footing.
In his turn, Tiit Land spoke about the potential of the university he heads and the areas of training and research that are a priority for him.
To determine possible areas of cooperation, the guest was presented with generalized information about the structure and areas of scientific and educational activities of the Faculties of Biomedical Engineering, Biotechnology and Biotechnology, the Educational and Research Institute of Energy Saving and Energy Management, the Educational and Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, as well as the project and grant activities of the university. In addition, the rector told his Tallinn colleague in detail about the work and achievements of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute scientists in the field of cyber defense and the projects of the university's Sikorsky Challenge innovation ecosystem. All of these areas, as Tiiit Land told university media representatives after the meeting, are promising for closer cooperation. According to him, the areas of IT technology and cybersecurity, medical engineering and biotechnology, as well as innovation could be particularly interesting in this regard. Moreover, cooperation can take different forms - both in the academic sphere and in the format of cooperation for the implementation of certain projects.
By the way, Estonia was one of the first countries in the world to openly condemn russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Already on the morning of February 24, 2022, Estonian citizens, together with representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora, picketed the russian Embassy in Tallinn to protest the aggression. Soon after, the Estonian government was one of the first to support Ukraine in granting it the status of an EU candidate. From the first days of the war, the Republic of Estonia opened its borders to Ukrainians who were forced to seek refuge from the war in other countries - to date, 50 to 60 thousand Ukrainians live in Estonia. At the same time, the government has suspended the registration of russian and belarusian citizens as electronic residents of Estonia under its e-Residency program, which allows entrepreneurs from all over the world to obtain an electronic business "residence" there. So today, everyone can do it - except for russians and belarusians. And, of course, Estonia and its citizens are constantly providing Ukraine with various types of assistance, the amount of which has reached 1% of the country's GDP in financial terms. Last year alone, the amount of military aid from this small Baltic country in terms of area and population reached one third of its defense budget...
Visit of the President of Estonia to Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute
Estonia is strengthening ties with Kyiv Polytechnic. Alar Karis assured of his support for Ukraine and emphasized that the entire Estonian people are with Ukraine.
During the visit, they discussed cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology at the research, teaching, and student levels.