PM: Everyone in Estonia must be prepared for outbreak of war in Ukraine

  • 2022-02-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – During a Cabinet meeting on security on Monday morning, members of the Estonian government were briefed on the latest developments related to the Ukraine crisis, and it was stated that although there is no direct military threat to Estonia, the spill-over effects of the war must be taken into account in the fields of cyber and internal security, energy and economy, along with the possibility of there being war refugees.

Unprecedented numbers of troops of the Russian Federation have been amassed near the Ukrainian border and in Belarus, which means that the risk of military escalation is very high, spokespeople for the Estonian government said.

"The Estonian state supports Ukraine and the people of Ukraine and will continue to help even if the Russian aggression in Ukraine turns into war. When supporting Ukraine, we are constantly consulting with our allies," Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said.

"Estonia has stepped up its preparedness to mitigate the spill-over effects of war, in line with our action plan. Alongside the state, every individual, company and institution must think through what to do if the crisis in Ukraine escalates into a military attack, the effects of which could affect us all," the premier said.

According to Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets, the Estonian embassy in Kyiv will continue its work.

"Although the situation in Ukraine is tense, the Estonian embassy in Kyiv will definitely continue to work and can offer help to Estonian people in leaving Ukraine, whereas it's important to stress that should the situation become more difficult, then, despite the good capacity of our embassy, the provision of necessary assistance may be significantly hindered for reasons beyond our control," the minister said, adding that therefore it's essential for the Estonian nationals currently in Ukraine to look again at their travel plans and find ways to leave the country.

According to Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet, the situation around Ukraine remains tense and tensions will probably grow even more in the near future.

"Estonia, together with its allies, is keeping a close eye on the developments and the support of the allies for our region is firm," said Laanet. The minister added that the United Kingdom last week confirmed the deployment of additional troops to Estonia, and that information about decisions and declarations of readiness to deploy additional capabilities to the Baltic Sea region keep coming in.

At the same time, Estonia will continue to support Ukraine and will not remove from Ukraine the Estonian personnel engaged in the provision of training there.