We need to rapidly move forward with strengthening NATO's eastern flank

  • 2022-09-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu met in Tallinn on Tuesday with British Minister of State for Europe Leo Docherty to discuss continuous support to Ukraine, the security situation in Europe and strengthening bilateral cooperation. 

At the meeting, Reinsalu thanked the United Kingdom for its contribution to the security of Estonia and Europe as well as to strengthening NATO's eastern flank, and underscored the importance of implementing the new strategic concept approved at the Madrid summit. 

"At the NATO summit held in Madrid in June, the allies were of the same opinion that Russia is the main security threat to the alliance. Therefore, we must continue pursuing the rapid and full implementation of the alliance's decisions regarding the strengthening of its defense and deterrence position," Reinsalu said.

The two states are also linked by cooperation in the development of new and innovative technologies, including the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). 

"It helps us further strengthen our cooperation in developing cyber security and digital solutions," Reinsalu noted, adding that in cooperation with the United Kingdom, Estonia is also supporting the maintenance of the Ukrainian digital sector's operational continuity.  

"The continued help by the United Kingdom in assisting Ukraine is remarkable," the Estonian minister said. He underlined that at the same time, it is important that humanitarian and defense aid by the West should increase to Ukraine, and that the latter is not just fighting for its own freedom but also for the principles that the entire democratic world deems valuable.

"Russia is intentionally destroying people's homes as well as the heating and sewerage infrastructures," Reinsalu went on. "Thus, we also discussed the provision of vital aid to Ukraine for the upcoming winter season."

The Estonian minister commended the United Kingdom's decision to establish sanctions against those who aided the illegal referenda in the Donetsk and Luhansk "republics" on occupied territories of Ukraine. Like the United Kingdom, Estonia will also never recognize the areas that are temporarily occupied by Russia as belonging to anyone other than Ukraine.

"Russia must be held accountable for its genocidal war in Ukraine. It is our obligation to form an international tribunal for prosecuting the crime of aggression," the foreign minister said, adding that Estonia together with like-minded countries will continue supporting Ukraine until Russia has lost its brutal war.