PM to Zelenskyy: Estonia supporting launch of EU accession talks with Ukraine

  • 2023-12-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas affirmed that Estonia supports launching EU accession negotiations with Ukraine.

Kallas stated that despite the war, Ukraine has demonstrated determination and political will, and made incredible progress in the reforms required for EU membership. 

"Ukraine, which is engaged in a war, fighting for European values and security, must not let its motivation and pace of EU integration wane," Kallas said. "Estonia stands for launching accession negotiations with Ukraine. We support Ukraine on their path to the European Union, and to NATO, for as long as necessary," she emphasized.

Another important topic discussed was the EU budget's midterm revision.

"From the perspective of long-term support for Ukraine, the European Union needs to adopt a support package of 50 billion euros. This is also a matter Estonia will advocate for at next week's  European Council meeting," Kallas noted.

The prime minister also said that the free world must continue doing everything in its power to support Ukraine, because Russia still believes it can win the war.

"We must not let Russia's narrative triumph or cease supporting Ukraine or stop believing in Ukraine's victory because of it," she added.

The prime minister noted that it is actually the free world holding the trump cards. 

"For example, the combined defense budget of the Ramstein coalition is 13 times larger than Russia's. The GDP of the European Union is seven times bigger than Russia's. The defense expenditures of EU member states are almost three times larger than Russia's," Kallas said.

Kallas pointed out that the combined political, economic, and military strength of the free world can ensure that Ukraine defeats Russia's aggression.

"The stronger Ukraine is, the quicker the breaking point will come for Russia. But for Ukraine to maintain its strength until the end, they need our weapons, ammunition, support in training soldiers, and of course, comprehensive economic aid," Kallas stated.

The prime minister also emphasized the need to continue the principled international isolation of Russia. Cybersecurity was also discussed.

"For instance, Estonia and Luxembourg have created an IT coalition with Ukraine, which helps enhance the cyber capabilities of the Ukrainian armed forces," Kallas said.