Estonian, Ukrainian presidents discuss combating virus, developments in Ukraine

  • 2021-03-31
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and her Ukrainian counterpart,  Volodymyr Zelensky, discussed during a telephone conversation on Wednesday the fight against coronavirus, the international security situation and the progress of reforms in Ukraine.

"We altogether support the aspirations of Ukraine vis-a-vis the European Union and NATO,  Ukraine belongs in the European family. We support these aspirations and are working also with our partners and allies towards achieving a relevant consensus," Kaljulaid said after the phone call.

Kaljulaid also thanked the head of state of Ukraine for the readiness expressed a few weeks ago to help Estonia, which is experiencing a peak of the virus crisis, with medical personnel if necessary. 

During the phone conversation that lasted an hour, the heads of state discussed in-depth the situation concerning the virus crisis and the progress of vaccination in both countries. 

"We in the European Union must jointly help in this fight also our eastern partners, one of whom is Ukraine," Kaljulaid said according to spokespeople, adding that she raised this topic during a meeting with the EU's single market commissioner Thierry Breton. 

The Estonian president also emphasized the continuous need to keep the attention of NATO allies and the EU on the developments in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

"These regions continue to be occupied and a war there continues. The Normandy format is at a standstill and the Minsk process is effectively not functioning now. This must not be accepted, and we must make a continuous effort also as the international community for the occupation to end. In particular now that the Russian Federation is planning the large-scale military training exercise Zapad, we must keep an especially close eye on the development of events in Ukraine and near its borders," Kaljulaid said.

The two presidents also discussed ongoing cooperation in the digital domain, with the Estonian head of state hailing rapid developments in Ukraine when it comes to the implementation of the e-state and digital-ID. The heads of state also talked about the progress of other important reforms underway in Ukraine.

Zelenski made an invitation to the Estonian head of state to make a working visit to Kiev at the end of August to participate in the summit of the Crimea platform. Kaljulaid accepted the invitation.