Estonian security expert: Ukraine's independence must not be left in any doubt

  • 2022-06-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian security expert Rainer Saks said at the 21st Toomkonverents conference in St. Mary's Cathedral in Tallinn that peace in Ukraine must not be concluded in such a way that the independence of the Ukrainian people and state is in any way called into question.

If Russia feels that it has achieved its goal at the end of the war, new military conflicts will follow soon, according to Saks. He stressed in his speech that Europe cannot pursue one moral policy and, at the same time, an economic policy that opposes it.

"These inconsistencies must end. We cannot hide behind the excuse of adjusting our agenda or that there are some elections coming up again, that is nonsense. Moral values and principles throughout Europe are currently being put in place. If Europe fails to uphold and defend its own values, the question arises as to what Europe is doing at all. The credibility of the whole of Europe is at stake. In the case of ambiguity, the internal values disintegrate," Saks said.

According to the expert, we are unfortunately in a situation where no solution that guarantees peace is easy. "Once war has already broken out in this form, any solution that does not resolve the issue for the Ukrainian people so that they can continue to exist peacefully would lead to a resurgence of war after some time. Peace must not be reached in such a way that the independence of the Ukrainian people and state is in any way called into question," Saks added.

"If an attack on another recognized state justifies itself, the practice will recur. The risk of attacking NATO countries is small, but new escalations in the Balkans and the Pacific will certainly begin. In the eyes of the Russian president, America is weak and Europe is even weaker. If Russia ends up being right, other countries will also start to think so. Power politics are not suitable for small countries. Power politics must not become a practice that is used to solve one's problems," Saks said.

According to Saks, European Union candidate status may be the first psychological support for the Ukrainian people and a sign that their will has been understood in Europe. "If we support Ukraine now, the rest of Europe may not end up in a situation where war reaches their door. This understanding comes quietly. Ukraine must be given the opportunity to win the war as Ukraine sees fit. Estonia's role should be to encourage and urge. So that the war in Ukraine could end with the sentence that we managed to prevent a great war in Europe," he added.

The question of what peace is and how to achieve it was discussed at the 21st Toomkonverents conference on Tuesday. Speakers at the conference, titled "RAHU" ("PEACE"), included Estonian MEP Riho Terras, security expert Rainer Saks, former foreign minister Riivo Sinijarv, bishop Philippe Jourdan, pastor Matthias Burghardt and Bodgan Ljutjuk from the Ukrainian Culture Center. The conference was moderated by archbishop Urmas Viilma and pastor Arho Tuhkru.