Estonian formin: Time to scrap Founding Act on NATO-Russia relations

  • 2023-03-31
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Speaking at a meeting of foreign ministers of Central and Eastern Europe (B9) in Lodz, Poland, on Friday, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that it is time to repeal the Founding Act on NATO-Russia relations.

"We cannot talk about any cooperation with Putin's Russia, which is waging a war of aggression in Ukraine," Reinsalu said. The Estonian minister said that it is also important to agree on a plan for cooperation between NATO and the European Union that reflects the NATO-EU Joint Declaration adopted in January.

At their meeting, the foreign ministers of Central and Eastern Europe welcomed Finland into NATO.

"Finland's accession to NATO strengthens the security of the region and provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation," Reinsalu said, expressing hope that Hungary and Turkey will soon also approve Sweden's application for NATO membership. 

The ministers talked about continued and comprehensive assistance to Ukraine, including giving Ukraine a clear plan to join NATO.

"The security of Europe must be without gray zones, and for the sake of sustainable peace in Europe, Ukraine must win," said Reinsalu. He emphasized that at the NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukraine must be given a clear and unequivocal action plan for joining the alliance. 

In the run-up to the alliance's foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on April 4 and 5, the implementation of the decisions concerning the defense of NATO's eastern flank adopted at the Madrid Summit last summer, including the endorsement of regional defense plans, was also discussed.

The NATO strategic compass agreed in Madrid states unequivocally that the greatest security threat for NATO is Russia, with which the alliance signed a Founding Act act of relations in 1997 to promote dialogue and security in Europe. However, since February last year, Russia has been ignoring all the principles of international law and is waging an inhumane war in the heart of Europe, Reinsalu added.