TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets said that Estonia is of the opinion that before the European Union can resume high-level meetings with Russia, the Minsk agreements signed for the purpose of resolving the conflict in Ukraine need to be followed first, public broadcaster ERR reports.
"Estonia's position regarding this issue has been the same for a long time -- when it comes to looking for changes in relations with Russia, Russia needs to first and foremost fulfill the Minsk agreements, and only then can we start reviewing our current policy," Liimets told ERR on Thursday.
"It is also important that the areas annexed by the Russian Federation should be returned to the states to which they belong. And then we can further discuss how to restore and improve relations," she said.
Liimets also highlighted the five policy principles agreed with the European Union in relation to Russia which set the preconditions and framework for contact.
"From Estonia's perspective, it is crucial that the European Union should also be guided by the policy of five principles in the future. These principles do not include the holding of high-level meetings or summits," the Estonian foreign minister said.
Liimets opined that it cannot be said that there is little dialogue between the EU and Russia.
"The dialogue exists, there are contacts. The issue remains about Russia's steps in terms of respecting international law and human rights, however. These are the areas where we first need to see change before we can resume any high-level dialogue with Russia," she said.
On Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Germany and France have called for a new EU strategy of closer engagement with Russia to build on discussions with Moscow in the wake of US president Joe Biden's Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin.