TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that people who go from Estonia to fight on Russia's side in the war in Ukraine will face a criminal penalty.
The Estonian premier said that Russia is trying to intimidate the free world, with threats of using nuclear weapons among other things, but the world must not be swayed by it.
"As Russia failed to succeed on the battlefield, they are now threatening to use nuclear weapons; however, what's important for us is that we do not let this intimidation affect or paralyze us," Kallas said at the government's press conference on Thursday.
"We will never recognize the sham referenda staged by Russia or the annexation of Ukrainian territories. The purpose of intimidating the world with nuclear weapons is to make it stop supporting Ukraine and to force it to lift its sanctions against Russia," Kallas said.
The prime minister said that the free world will not be intimidated and continues to follow and defend the principles of European security and international law.
"We're also continuing our cooperation in the broader transatlantic community and continue to increase the cost of the aggression. We firmly stand with Ukraine," she went on.
Kallas pointed out that unlike Russia, NATO is not threatening to use its nuclear weapons despite being a nuclear power.
"The Ukrainians have proven that they can win this war with external help. They have been using our military aid in a very skillful and determined manner and the aid must be increased," she said.
The premier added that Russia's steps have also caused alarm in the Estonian society, however, there is still no direct military threat to Estonia at present.
"If there are any Russian nationals residing in Estonia who are weighing going to fight for Russia, doing so is a criminal offense. And we will not forgive such deeds," she said.
Offenders face a prison term of up to five years, their residence permit will be revoked and their Estonian citizenship by naturalization may be rescinded as well, according to the prime minister.