Estonian parlt speaker discusses support for Ukraine during visit to Norway

  • 2024-06-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian parliament speaker Lauri Hussar met with King Harald V of Norway, Norwegian parliament speaker Masud Gharahkhani and members of the parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee in Oslo on Thursday to discuss supporting Ukraine, preventing Russian aggression and preparing for the NATO summit in Washington.

The meetings held in the parliament focused on further assistance to Ukraine, while the parties considered it particularly important that as many countries as possible provide long-term support to Ukraine. Hussar commended Norway for recently concluding a bilateral security agreement and said that Estonia is also planning to conclude a similar agreement.

"With a political agreement, we confirm the continuation of Estonia's long-term and comprehensive support to Ukraine, as part of which we will provide military aid to Ukraine in the amount of at least 0.25 percent of GDP over the next four years," he said.

Speaking about holding Russia accountable, Hussar pointed out the law passed by the Riigikogu in mid-May, which allows the use of the assets of Russian individuals that have been frozen under international sanctions to compensate for the war damages caused to Ukraine. He invited other allies to go ahead with the establishment of a corresponding legal regulation. In addition to Russian aggression in Ukraine, the meetings also focused on the joint response to Russian hybrid attacks.

Preparations for the NATO summit in Washington in July, including talks about increasing the countries' defense spending and strengthening defense capabilities, were also discussed at the meetings. In addition, good bilateral relations were recognized and it was considered necessary to further develop cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries.

On Thursday, Hussar also visited the University of Oslo and the headquarters of Orkla Group, while in the evening he is meeting with representatives of the Estonian community in Norway.

From Oslo, Hussar will travel to Bodo with the first vice president of the Storting, Svein Harberg. Bodo, located north of the Arctic Circle, bears the title of the European Capital of Culture along with Bad Ischl and Tartu this year.

In Bodo, the speaker of the Riigikogu will meet with Mayor Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen and deputy chair of the county government Marianne Dobak Kvensjo, as well as open an exhibition of the most beautiful Estonian books in Stormen Library. At the Norwegian Joint Headquarters, he will get an overview of the security situation in Northern Europe and the Arctic region and the development plans of the Norwegian armed forces.

Hussar will also visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum and the Nordland Cultural Center.

The speaker of the Riigikogu is accompanied on the trip by Toomas Kivimagi, deputy speaker of the Riigikogu and chairman of the Estonia-Norway parliamentary friendship group, and member of the parliamentary friendship group Kristina Smigun-Vahi.