Estonian MEP: EU must review relations with countries backing Russia

  • 2023-01-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian member of the European Parliament Urmas Paet, vice-chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, says the European Union should review its relations with countries that support Russia.

Paet said during a foreign, security and defense policy debate at the European Parliament's plenary in Strasbourg that the EU's relations with third countries must be more dependent on their attitude towards Russia's aggression against Ukraine. 

"Since the Russian aggression against Ukraine is the most important foreign and security policy topic for the EU, which affects many areas of life and above all Europe's security, all other EU foreign and security policy topics, too, must be looked at through the prism of Russia's aggression against Ukraine," Paet said. "That is, how the EU's relations with third countries would contribute to ending the Russian aggression in Ukraine."

The MEP said that also when it comes to the EU's trade and development cooperation with third countries, it is necessary to look closely at how the EU's partners act in relation to the Russian aggression.

"How they vote in the UN General Assembly, what kind of relations they develop with Russia, and even more so, what military equipment they supply to Russia," he said.

"There's a saying that goes: You can't be everybody's darling. And it's true. The EU must review its relations with third countries in the light of Russia's aggression against Ukraine," Paet said.

"More support must be given to those countries for whom Russia's crimes and violations of international law are unacceptable. And corrections made in relations with countries that continue to interact with the Russian regime as if nothing had happened," he said

Paet emphasized that this is important for helping Ukraine and continuing to pressure the Russian regime, as well as for strengthening the EU's international credibility.

The Estonian MEP is the shadow rapporteur for the 2022 report on the implementation of the EU's common security and defense policy.