TALLINN - Russia started a war of conquest against Ukraine, and the Russian Federation bears full responsibility for the outbreak of the war and the human suffering and material damage it causes, chairman of Estonia's opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) Lauri Laanemets said on Thursday.
"At the moment, we can all go on with our daily activities here in Estonia, because there is no direct threat of war to Estonia. At the same time, we must understand that Ukraine is also fighting our fight. The preservation of Ukraine's independence is vital for us, because the fall of Ukraine under Russian control will give Putin both strength and courage," Laanemets said.
He said SDE supports the Estonian government's efforts aimed at punishing Russia with extensive sanctions and to provide comprehensive support to Ukraine.
"We believe that since Estonia's ability to provide military assistance to Ukraine is limited, Estonia must focus on economic support for Ukraine. The European Union must give Ukraine financial aid so that the Ukrainian government can pay salaries, pensions, buy medicines for hospitals and food for children in care homes and orphanages despite the war. The survival of Ukraine's democratically elected state power also depends on people's faith in their state and its ability to ensure their coping," Laanemets said.
He said we must also be prepared for the scenario that many Ukrainians may seek refuge from the Russian war machine in Estonia.
"They need to be admitted and offered comprehensive support, just as we would expect our neighbors to do if our people were in a similar situation," Laanemets said.
"We live in dark times. Now is the time to pull together and help those in need, to help the state and the people of Ukraine. Anyone in Estonia can help Ukrainians by donating to the Red Cross and other organizations that help Ukraine endure," the chairman of SDE added.