PM: Estonia will not repatriate Ukrainian men of mobilization age

  • 2024-01-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Estonia will not send Ukrainian men of mobilization age who currently live in Estonia back to Ukraine, Estonia's public broadcaster ERR reported.

In an interview with The Kyiv Indepedent, Kallas acknowledged that she had discussed the issue with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the latter's visit to Tallinn, but ruled out extraditing Ukrainians as they are in Estonia legally.

"Yes, we discussed the issue of Ukrainian refugees, especially the men who are of mobilization age. President Zelenskyy described that there are people who are on the battlefield, and then there are people who are paying taxes to Ukraine so that you can fund the soldiers who are on the battlefield," the Estonian premier said.

"But then there are also people who are in foreign countries like Estonia. Now for us, they have the right to be here if they follow the rules, if they have reached us, then the EU gives them temporary protection. So we will definitely not do anything on our side to give those people out. It is up to Ukraine to turn to the people who are here and request them to come back to help their motherland," Kallas said.

Zelenskyy said at a news conference Thursday after his meeting with Kallas that Ukraine needs men of mobilization age who have gone abroad, either to repel the Russian aggression or to support the country's economy. However, he did not explicitly answer whether Estonia should extradite Ukrainian citizens of mobilization age living here.