TALLINN – Estonian President Alar Karis said at the Ukraine House in Davos, Switzerland, that Estonia is helping Ukraine fulfill its European dream of becoming an European Union candidate country.
"I am in Davos to talk about Ukraine's right to become a candidate for membership of the European Union. The enlargement of the European Union is an investment in European security, there is no alternative. Peace and freedom in Europe require national capitals and EU institutions to change their strategic approach to Russia and to be more ambitious in their relations with the European Union's neighborhood," Karis said when visiting Ukraine House Davos in the framework of the World Economic Forum.
Karis also met Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov there.
The Estonian head of state confirmed full support and readiness to share Estonia's experience with Ukraine on the path of applying for membership of the European Union. "Estonia is a friend of Ukraine and is always ready to support Ukrainians to help fulfill the European dream. How quickly Ukraine will become a member of the European Union depends on the determination of the Ukrainians, the acceleration of reforms, and the will to seriously change the country," Karis said.
According to the president, the war in Ukraine has taught us that leaving neighboring peoples who want to belong to the European family in a state of insecurity creates a breeding ground for conflict. "It is in our interest to promote democracy and peace in Europe through European Union integration. Enlargement has been successful in creating democracy, growth and prosperity. We must continue it," Karis said. "Every country that wants to be with or belong to the European Union must have the opportunity to do so," he added.
The head of state said that Russia's spheres of influence must not be permitted to develop in Europe. "We need to focus on those areas that Russia wants to dominate by military force or corruption and include them in the European space. We can do this by more boldly promoting the enlargement of the European Union and NATO and using other forms of EU cooperation," Karis said. "The war in Ukraine has also taught us that investing in the resilience of Europe's neighbors must be at the heart of our neighborhood policy," he added.
According to Karis, the courage of the Ukrainian people deserves deep admiration. "Your courage in fighting terrorism and Russia's brutal aggression, for Ukraine's freedom and democracy is remarkable. In this struggle, you have proved that your country is working well, that the parliament and the government are working hard every day, and that a strong civil society is helping those in need throughout Ukraine," the head of state said in a speech at the Ukraine House Davos.
The Estonian head of state will take part in discussions focusing on European security, the revitalization of transatlantic cooperation and the future of the EU and its global role at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday and Wednesday. He is also scheduled to have several bilateral meetings with leaders of other countries and representatives of major international companies.