Consequences of Russian aggression go well beyond Ukraine

  • 2022-11-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – In a meeting with Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Tallinn on Friday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that the consequences of Russia's aggression go far beyond Ukraine.

Kallas emphasized Estonia's full support to Kosovo's Euro-Atlantic path.

"Let me reaffirm our support to your visa liberalization with the EU," she said, expressing hope that visa-free travel will be achieved soon.

Kallas said that the security situation in Europe has been a reminder of the importance of the EU-Western Balkans relations.

"The Russian aggression affects us all. Its consequences go well beyond Ukraine. We also discussed Russia's destabilizing influence in your neighborhood. I am glad that we will meet soon at the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana. With this summit we will send a strong message of support -- the EU is a close friend that Western Balkans can rely on," she said.

The Estonian premier said it is in our mutual interest to end Russia's aggression once and for all.

"We know that the aggressor will never stop unless he is stopped. The longer it takes, the harder it gets. For this we need to keep supporting Ukraine -- by giving more military support, more humanitarian aid, more financial support. This is the way towards peace," she said.

Kallas stressed that war criminals must be held accountable.

"The free world must make sure that Russia's crime of aggression, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide will face justice. And Russia has an obligation to make full reparation for the injury and damages caused. The Kremlin must pay for every building shelled, every bridge ruined, and every energy facility destroyed," she said.

The two prime ministers also talked about Estonia's experience in building democracy.

"I was glad to discuss Estonia's reform process, especially in the field of digital governance and the rule of law. Building democracy never ends -- over here we take care of it every day," Kallas said.

"A great example of our practical cooperation is that currently Estonian experts in cooperation with Kosovo's own experts are helping to create Kosovo's e-governance strategy. What is key to do next is to put it into practice soon," she said.

Kallas also thanked Kosovo for its steadfast support to Ukraine.

"You have set an important example by quickly and fully following EU sanctions. This means a lot. You have given Ukraine humanitarian aid and supported Ukrainian refugees. Your principled position is widely appreciated and recognized," the premier added.