Estonian formin meets with Dutch counterpart Hanke Bruins Slot in Tallinn

  • 2024-04-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna met with his Dutch colleague Hanke Bruins Slot in Tallinn on Monday to discuss continued comprehensive support for Ukraine, increasing the cost of the war for Russia, and European security.

During the meeting, Tsahkna commended the Netherlands for their contribution to NATO's collective defense, especially in the Baltic region.

"This year, Estonia marks the 20th anniversary of membership in NATO and the European Union, of which the Netherlands is a founding member," Tsahkna said. "I am pleased that today the Netherlands remains our like-minded ally in NATO and a partner in the European Union."

The recent attack by Iran on Israel this past weekend, which threatens the fragile security of the entire region, was also discussed.

"I urge restraint to avoid escalation and to work towards de-escalating tensions in the Middle East," Tsahkna said. "The weekend's events show that international cooperation can successfully counter drone and missile attacks."

"I call on everyone who can, to give Ukraine what they critically need," Tsahkna stated, emphasizing that Estonia has called on the countries of the Ramstein coalition to allocate 0.25 percent of their GDP for military support to Ukraine annually. 

"Our calculations show that support of this magnitude would help bring victory to Ukraine, who is fighting for our collective security," he said.

The importance of strengthening the EU's defense capabilities and industry was also discussed.

Likewise discussed was the use of Russia's frozen assets to support Ukraine. Tsahkna briefed his Dutch colleague on Estonia's initiative to use Russia's frozen assets and expressed hope that progress could soon be made.

"I also look forward to swift decisions from the European Union that would allow the revenues generated from Russia's frozen assets to be directed to Ukraine's military support, as the aggressor does not wait. It continues to devastate Ukraine. Ukraine needs our help now, without delay," he said.