President Karis to President Zelenskyy: Estonia's support for Ukraine's NATO and EU aspirations is iron-clad

  • 2023-06-05

President Alar Karis, who is visiting Ukraine with a business delegation, met with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. In addition to full support for Ukraine, bilateral economic cooperation and the reconstruction of Ukraine, as well as the prosecution of those involved in the crime of aggression, were discussed at the meeting.

The Estonian head of state noted at the meeting that he wanted to visit Ukraine on the International Children's Day to draw attention to the mass deportation and killing of Ukrainian children. “We must do everything to bring back the children who were forcibly taken to Russia. Those who make and implement decisions at different levels of power on the deportation of children must be punished. I don't want to live in a world where we have to have a dialogue with child murderers, with those who bomb hospitals, kindergartens and schools. Their place is behind bars,” said President Karis. He added that the prosecution of perpetrators of war crimes must start at the highest level of the power hierarchy.

The head of state stressed that what Ukraine needs above all is a peace that would last on the entire territory of Ukraine, and that no child in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Crimea – wherever in Ukraine – would have to face the horrors of war. “We need to ensure this by strengthening the European security arrangement, which in turn means Ukraine's accession to NATO and the European Union,” President Karis explained.

The Estonian head of state noted that as a former scientist, he is appalled to witness the cruelty with which the Ukrainian scientific and educational community is treated. More than 100 research institutions have been bombed with nine of them razed to the ground. President Karis called for support for Ukrainian researchers, professors and teachers working in Ukraine or abroad by offering research grants and cooperation projects. He added that Estonia offers grants to Ukrainian researchers and scholarships at its universities.

President Karis stressed that the opening of the new kindergarten in Ovruch shows that reconstruction work in Ukraine can start even before the end of the war. A kindergarten in the city of Ovruch in Zhytomyr Oblast, completed in the framework of an Estonian public-private partnership, was opened today by Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna. The Estonian head of state said that the reconstruction work will be boosted by economic cooperation between Estonia and Ukraine. To promote this, he is accompanied on his visit by a 24-member business delegation, including representatives from IT, infrastructure and construction companies. Minister of Economic Affairs and Information Technology Tiit Riisalo, as well as Rector of Tallinn University of Technology Tiit Land and Vice Rector Tiit Lukk are also accompanying the president.