Ilves and Dutch Foreign Minister Discuss EU Sanctions on Russia ({{commentsTotal}})

Meeting with the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that the European Union and NATO must demonstrate credibility or face shame.

The president stressed that the response of NATO and EU to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and violation of international law must prove their credibility, reported on Monday.

“Our choice must allow us to say 'I am proud to be European' instead of noting 'I am ashamed to be European',” the president said.

“If we take the practical approach to sanctions on Russia, so that they wouldn’t hurt our trade interests, we will betray our common values and everything that the post-war democratic Europe has relied on,” Ilves said.

He also stressed the importance of integrating Ukraine into Europe.

Timmermans, who is in Tallinn for the “Free and Secure Internet For All” conference, told the daily Eesti Päevaleht in an interview that the time for new sanctions on Russia has not arrived yet.

According to the foreign minister, current sanctions are already working despite Moscow’s rhetoric - there are virtually no investments going into the country and the Russian Central Bank must buy a lot of its own currency every day to keep it afloat.

He added that Ukraine has kept to the Geneva accord and the responsibility lies clearly with Russia.