PM Kallas: for Ukraine to turn its bravery into victory, our support must continue

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasised during her meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy that Estonia believes in Ukraine’s victory.

“We believe in Ukraine, which is a country with liberal democracy and a free-market economy and which will become a member of the European Union and NATO,” Kallas said.

According to Prime Minister Kallas, we have been witnessing Ukraine’s bravery and resilience every day since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war of aggression. “In December, we made a historic decision in the European Union – to open accession negotiations with Ukraine. The European Union is a choice made by the Ukrainian people at the Maidan ten years ago. Ukraine must continue with reforms and there is still a long winding road ahead, but Estonia stands with Ukraine – we are here to help with our experience. I also promise to continue being a strong advocate for Ukraine at the European Council table,” Kallas said.

Kallas also noted that Estonia is working tirelessly so that the NATO Washington Summit would bring Ukraine even closer to NATO membership.

“In order Ukraine to turn its bravery into victory, the support of the free world must continue. We must support Ukraine as long as it is needed and, crucial, also as much as necessary for Ukraine’s victory,” emphasised Kallas.

Prime Minister Kallas said that Russia will do anything this year to destroy the unity of the free world when it comes to support for Ukraine. “In reality, we are stronger than Russia wants to make us believe. We have the upper hand, and the combined military, economic and political power of the free world can ensure Ukraine’s victory over Russian aggression. The stronger Ukraine is, the faster the breaking point arrives for Russia,” she said.

According to Kallas, these are crucial times and we need to keep our focus. “We must not allow our attention to be distracted by domestic political bickering or upcoming elections in Europe and beyond. If we let aggressors override international law and dictate the rules of the game, we will find ourselves in a much more dangerous world. This is the harsh reality we live in”.

Estonia has provided military assistance to Ukraine amounting to around 1.4% of our GDP. “We have just taken the decision to provide additional military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 80 million euros. We also decided that Estonia’s long-term military assistance to Ukraine will be 0.25% of our GDP over the next four years. If all the countries supporting Ukraine made a similar commitment, this would lead to a definite victory for Ukraine,” Kallas said. The EU initiative to give one million rounds of artillery ammunition for Ukraine must also be fulfilled.

Estonia has also made a long-term commitment to support Ukraine in the civil sphere: for refugee support, reconstruction and humanitarian aid, until 2027.

Kallas also stated that we still need to isolate Russia in every way and continue with sanctions, with hope to start discussions on the EU’s 13th sanctions package as soon as possible. “It is also a high time to find a solution for the use of Russia’s frozen assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine. It is also important that the Russian leadership bear responsibility for the most serious international crimes committed in Ukraine, including the crime of aggression. Estonia continues its efforts to create a special tribunal for the crime of aggression,” added Kallas.

Prime Minister also emphasised that hopes for quick peace are a trap that we must not fall into. “Russia would only use it to gather strength to attack even more fiercely. We all want to live in peace, but it must be a just and lasting peace. Estonia supports and actively participates in President Zelenskyy’s peace plan, which focuses on the territorial integrity and justice for Ukraine,” she said. Estonia will lead a working group of the Ukrainian Peace Formula that focuses on finding solutions in the United Nations for a situation where an aggressor with the right of veto has made the entire world order vulnerable. “In the discussions of the working group, we will focus on the possibilities of the UN Charter to overcome the deadlock of the Security Council in order to effectively respond to Russian aggression.”

Also today, in the presence of Prime Minister Kallas and President Zelenskyy, a memorandum of understanding regarding the strengthening of defence cooperation between Estonia and Ukraine was signed by Chairman of the Council of the Estonian Defence and Aerospace Industry Association Taavi Veskimägi and the Deputy Minister of Strategic Industry of Ukraine Sergiy Boyev. The agreement aims to boost joint defence industry projects between Estonia and Ukraine and initiate more of them.

Photos (Raul Mee): https://www.flickr.com/photos/stenbockimaja/albums/72177720313966696

Source: Government of the Republic of Estonia