Karis to Steinmeier: Relations between Estonia, Germany 'in a tailwind'

  • 2023-03-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Tallinn on Wednesday, Estonian President Alar Karis said that bilateral relations between Germany and Estonia are in a tailwind and together the countries are helping Ukraine fight the aggressor.

"Germany is committed to Europe's common security. This is confirmed also by our meeting today," Karis said according to spokespeople.

The Estonian head of state thanked Germany for its contribution to Baltic air policing and strengthening of NATO's eastern flank.

"Germany's presence on NATO's eastern flank is a model for many allies," Karis said. "Germany's importance in ensuring the security of Europe cannot be overestimated. They have a central role to play in NATO's collective defense, both in the field and in all the necessary decisions."

According to Karis, there is no functioning NATO or a strong European Union without Germany.

"Germany's resolve and courage to direct the development of Europe and its strong will to contribute to collective defense is the foundation on which peace in Europe rests," said the Estonian head of state. "Threats to Europe's security mean that increased defense spending is our long-term need. Europe can only be protected if we contribute to our security and consistently increase our defense budget."

The president hailed the close economic relations between Estonia and Germany, Germany's investments in Estonia and the common willingness to diversify cooperation in the field of environmentally friendly energy solutions. The Estonian head of state also praised the diverse and high-level cultural cooperation between the two countries.

Speaking about helping Ukraine in the war with Russia, Karis highlighted the effective cooperation between Estonia and Germany, a vivid example of which is the donation of field hospitals to Ukraine.

"We will continue to resolutely support Ukraine, also militarily, until the aggressor is pushed back and Ukraine's security is secured. We are also ready to share our experience of the path towards membership of the European Union and NATO with Ukraine, if they continue reforms and fulfil the necessary conditions," Karis was quoted as saying.

The presidents also discussed how to bring war criminals to justice, as there is no peace without justice.