Estonian foreign minister meets with EU counterparts in Bratislava
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Kaljurand attended an informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers in Bratislava on Friday and Saturday where topics of discussion included Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the EU's foreign and security policy.
Speaking about the implementation of the Minsk Protocol and further actions, Kaljurand emphasized that the EU must continue a common policy toward Russia, considering the continued intense warfare in Eastern Ukraine and Russia's provocations in Crimea. "The policy toward Russia can be influenced first and foremost by Russia's activity and the implementation of the Minsk Protocol that would restore Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Kaljurand said at the meeting.
The ministers voiced unanimous support for the Normandy format — the format used in seeking a resolution for the situation in Eastern Ukraine involving discussion between the presidents and foreign ministers of Germany, Russia, Ukraine and France — and underlined the importance of security as well as discussed the EU's possibilities for supporting Ukrainian reforms.
On the subject of Turkey, Kaljurand stressed the necessity of continuing the dialogue with Turkey, pointing out at the same time, however, that Turkey must adhere to intenational commitments and laws in order to ensure that justice is independent and biased.
"Turkey is open to dialogue and there are plenty of topics to discuss," said Kaljurand. "Turkey is an important partner in the migration crisis, fight against terrorism and security cooperation as well."
The ministers condemned the attempted military coup and expressed solidarity with the people of Turkey. The EU's foreign policy chief and member states als thanked Estonia for their active cooperation with Turkey in its capacity as the presiding country of the Council of Europe. At the subsequent meeting with Turkey's Minister of EU Affairs Ömer Çelik, the minsiters voiced their wish to continue cooperation in all previous areas thereof.
In addition, the foreign ministers discussed the implementation of the gobal strategy of the EU's foreign and security policy. The fight against terrorism and ways to prevent radicalization were under discussion with EU candidate states' representatives as well. Kaljurand noted that it was important to support continued counterterrorism activities as well as close cooperation and information exchanges with Turkey and West Balkan countries.