Estonian PM: Present moment must be made use of to bring Ukraine to EU

  • 2022-06-23
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - In a phone call on Wednesday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky discussed the situation in Ukraine and launching Ukraine's accession process to the European Union.

"Estonia supports Ukraine's application to join the European Union, which will be discussed at the European Council meeting tomorrow, as well as granting Ukraine the status of a candidate state, as recommended by the European Commission," Kallas said. 

"It is an important milestone because Ukraine is fighting for the democratic values that serve as the basis for the European Union. I reaffirmed to President Zelensky that Estonia supports Ukraine on its path to the European Union and we're ready to comprehensively share our experience to enhance their EU integration," she noted.

Kallas and Zelensky also discussed the war situation in Ukraine as well as the latest developments at the front and further ways for assisting Ukraine.

"President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people greatly appreciate Estonia's contribution to helping them, but it is clear that until Russia has withdrawn its forces and Ukraine has won the war, the West will not have done enough," the Estonian prime minister said. 

"Weapons aid and training must continue and we must ensure that it is delivered to Ukraine fast. Estonia has already assisted with training and plans to continue doing so in the future. In addition, we need to continue the provision of humanitarian aid and economic aid to Ukraine, including with the support of the European Union," she added. 

Topics discussed at the meeting also included ways for raising the cost of the aggression for Russia, including through more efficient implementation of sanctions. 

"Russia continues to wreak havoc in Ukraine, threatening its other neighbors and causing a global food crisis. It is clear that there can be no alleviating of the sanctions, quite the opposite -- we need to implement the existing sanctions to the maximum extent and proceed with the development of additional sanctions. The European Union's long-term policy towards Russia has changed. There can be no return to business as usual with war criminals," Kallas noted. 

Kallas also spoke over the phone with Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Wednesday to affirm Estonia's support to also granting Moldova the status of an EU candidate state.