President: Estonia standing by Ukraine in solidarity

  • 2022-02-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis, who is currently on a working visit to Kyiv, said on Tuesday after his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Estonia stands by Ukraine in solidarity.

"We stand united with Ukraine, we will not walk away, we will continue to support you in every possible way. I praise the Ukrainian leaders who despite constant provocations remain calm and express willingness to solve this conflict peacefully. Russia must end the intolerable provocations, stop fueling the conflict, which has been ongoing for eight years. Moscow should immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Ukraine's territory and its immediate vicinity. We strongly condemn all military and hybrid actions against Ukraine. We regret that despite diplomatic efforts, there are no signs of willingness to de-escalate, quite the opposite, the buildup of Russian forces continues, including in Belarus," the Estonian president said at a joint press conference with Zelensky.

"I align myself with everyone who wish we would have a way to secure peace through the force of diplomacy and dialogue. Indeed, it is a decisive moment in the European history. President Putin will answer to the future generations, for his violent actions. Also we, European and Western leaders, have the responsibility to step up to our values, our commitment to Europe united and at peace. We regret every single life lost," Karis said. "It is our duty to protect our common values and the democracy we all helped to build. A threat to Ukraine is a threat to the security of Europe."

"In the EU, we will deliver on a massive package of sanctions and do so swiftly and decisively," he said. "But most importantly we must keep the door to EU and NATO open for Ukraine and we must have concrete next steps for further cooperation and integration. We know you will continue to value democracy and remain on the path of reforms. Eventually we will welcome you as the member of the European Union, you belong in Europe," the Estonian head of state said. 

The president underscored that Estonia supports Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We remain fully committed to the policy of non-recognition of illegal annexation of Ukraine's territories. Ukraine has a right to defend its borders and independence and we continue helping Ukraine to build its military capabilities to stand against the aggression," he said.