Russia hampering delivery of food to people who need it

  • 2022-06-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Andres Sutt, acting as the minister of foreign affairs, said at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday that Estonia's positions regarding Russia's cruel war in Ukraine remain unchanged, adding that Ukraine needs to be supported, among other things, in its fight against misinformation and in finding a suitable solution for its crop exports.

"Russia cannot win this war," Sutt said. "We must continue providing defense and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and be prepared to support Ukraine for a long time."

Sutt said that the European Commission's clear recommendation on Friday to grant Ukraine the status of an EU candidate state is a historic moment.

"Estonia has been standing firmly for Ukraine's EU integration and will continue standing for it also in the future. Ukraine is fighting for all of Europe and for democratic values and it needs our support," Sutt said.

Estonia has provided Ukraine with over 240 million euros' worth of defense aid, which accounts for one-third of its defense spending. Estonia has also provided almost 20 million euros' worth of humanitarian aid. One in three people in Estonia have contributed to supporting Ukraine. The country has taken in 43,000 refugees from Ukraine, which equals over 3.2 percent of the local population.

Sutt said that the sanctions against Russia must decisively reduce the latter's capability to fund its war, therefore, rapid progress must be made with further sanctions.

"It is in the interest of Estonia and Europe to find alternative energy sources to Russian natural gas and oil. Estonia is committed to fighting climate change and, as an innovative state, we're also interested in developing new technologies generating energy from renewable sources," he added.

Topics discussed at the meeting on Monday also involved the impact of Russia's aggression on global food security.

"Russia is hampering the delivery of food to people who need it very much. We also discussed how we can support Ukraine in its export of crops so that it doesn't jeopardize the security of its ports," Sutt said, adding that fact-based tackling of Russia's misinformation and misleading narratives must also continue.

Likewise discussed at the meeting was strengthening cooperation with the Gulf states and the situation in the Horn of Africa. On the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council, Sutt also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt Sameh Hassan Shoukry. The two ministers spoke about cooperation in climate affairs, energy, migration and security and about tackling Russia's misinformation.

"The EU and Egypt are joining forces to ensure that the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this year proves successful. They also commit to the green transition and the goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest," Sutt said.

On Tuesday, Sutt is set to take part in the General Affairs Council, the agenda for which includes preparations for the upcoming European Council of June 23 and 24 and discussion of the European Commission's recommendation to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate states as well as give a clear EU prospect to Georgia.