TALLINN - Kalev Stoicescu, the chairman of the Estonian parliament's national defense committee, and Marko Mihkelson, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, are participating in a parliamentary conference on the foreign and security policy and the security and defense policy of the European Union on Monday, where the focus is on strengthening European security and Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine.
Stoicescu noted that the increase of defense spending and defense investment by EU countries should be much faster than it has been so far, and the production capacity of the defense industry should be increased significantly to strengthen Europe's security. What is needed, he said, is for Western countries to be united in their decisions and actions.
"Russia is and will remain a persistent threat to us. Therefore, we must ensure that we have sufficient supplies and can also support Ukraine with armaments and munitions, and Ukraine may need our help for a long period of time," Stoicescu said, adding that the European Union must fulfil as soon as possible its promise to donate one million artillery shells to Ukraine. This is a decision made on the initiative of Estonia, which was approved by the European Council in the spring.
Mihkelson described investments in defense, as well as a well targeted foreign policy, as crucial in the current security situation. He said the restoration of lasting peace in Europe is unthinkable as long as Ukraine has not won the war started by Russia.
"Ukraine needs our active help and support until they have achieved victory, Russia has been strategically defeated and has withdrawn its troops from Ukrainian territory, and the perpetrators of the crime of aggression, the Russian political leadership in the first place, have been brought to justice," Mihkelson said, adding that aside from the establishment of an international special tribunal, the cost of the aggression for Russia must continue to be raised through sanctions and other restrictive measures.
The priorities, challenges and developments of the EU's foreign and security policy and security and defense policy, as well as Russia's aggression in Ukraine and its consequences, and the strengthening of European security will be discussed throughout Monday at the parliamentary conference in Madrid. The conference is part of the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union, which runs from July 1 until the end of the year.