Estonian president: Wish to broker peace must not lead to sell-out of Ukraine's interests

  • 2023-08-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis said in his speech on the occasion of Ukraine's Independence Day on Thursday that the human desire to broker peace must not lead to a sell-out of Ukraine's interests.

"It is the duty of Estonia and of all the countries of the world to help Ukraine in this war for as long as necessary. Be it for three months or three years, or even longer if necessary," Karis said in his speech at the ceremony of raising the Ukrainian flag in front of the Office of the President in Kadriorg on Thursday morning.

The head of state sent a greeting to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and the people of Ukraine on the occasion of their country's Independence Day, in which he emphasized Estonia's support for Ukraine.

"Our friends, Ukrainians, are fighting for their freedom already for the second year. They are fighting in Europe's largest and deadliest war since World War II. The battles are raging not only on the front line, but Russian drone and missile attacks are killing people and carrying out destruction all over the country," Karis said. 

"With their extraordinary bravery, the Ukrainians have driven the enemy out of Kyiv and Chernihiv, Mykolaiv and Kherson, Sumy and Kharkiv," he said.

He added that the task facing Ukraine is difficult and it will take time to push the enemy back across the border.

"Putin's army has spread itself across a fifth of Ukraine's territory, dug in deep and hiding behind minefields. While the Russian army has plenty of metal and those to send to the war of conquest, on the battlefield Ukrainians will always have the advantage of justness, commitment and courage," Karis said.

"I know that Ukraine will not get tired of fighting. Estonia will not tire either," he stressed. "But we must not become complacent or lazy. Together we must stop the Russian war machine, because its appetite is not limited to Ukraine," the president said. "Time and again, we also need to set an example to our allies who have more munitions or whose fighter jets and cruise missiles would be indispensable to the Ukrainians now."

"Likewise, we need to continue to convince countries around the world that the human desire to broker peace must not lead to a sell-out of Ukraine's interests. Because in this way, we would also be selling out our fundamental values and everything on which international law is based," said the Estonian head of state.

On the occasion of Ukraine's Independence Day, the Ukrainian flag was raised in front of the president's office in Kadriorg in the presence of  members of the Ukrainian community of Estonia and diplomats.