Ukrainian, Baltic prime ministers meet in Riga
At the meeting of the prime ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine that took place in Riga today, Taavi Rõivas said that even though seemingly the ceasefire holds, the conflict in Ukraine is far from over and the attention of the international community on Ukraine must continue.
"Estonia’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is rock solid and Ukraine will always be left with the right to choose its path independently," Rõivas said when meeting his Baltic colleagues and Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine. A part of Ukraine is still occupied and according to Rõivas, sanctions against Russia must be in force until the Minsk agreements are one hundred percent performed. An important step in that direction would be Russia’s readiness to give Ukraine back control over its external border. Ukraine must have a chance to carry out elections in the Eastern part of the state according to Ukraine’s own laws and OSCE standards, he added.
According to Rõivas, Estonia understands Ukraine’s difficult situation, where the state must fight on two fronts at the same time – resolve the conflict in the Eastern part of Ukraine as well as deal with implementing complex reforms. "We wish for Ukraine to achieve success in both," Rõivas said and confirmed that supporting Ukraine will remain as one of the main priorities of Estonia’s foreign and security policy.
Rõivas said at the meeting that the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 planned into the Baltic Sea would have a clearly negative impact on Ukraine’s energy supply and gas transit in the direction of Central Europe. “We have asked the European Commission to analyse the compliance of the gas pipeline with the third energy package of the European Union,” Rõivas said, adding that he believes in the objectivity of the Commission’s analysis.
According to Rõivas, Ukraine must use every opportunity to implement necessary reforms. It is important to fight corruption with greater persistence and to reform the judiciary system. National institutions operating independently and transparently are also of crucial importance for achieving a visa waiver between Ukraine and the European Union.