Political parties differ on arms aid to Ukraine
ETV asked Estonian political parties whether Ukraine should be given weapons to fight Russian-backed separatists, after President Toomas Hendrik Ilves lent his support to the idea in a debate on Tuesday.
Ilves said at the University of Tallinn that the term “deeply worried for Ukraine” has lost its meaning for Ukrainians and the nation needs weapons.
“Helping Ukraine must become more resolute and weapons aid is precisely the topic which should be pushed through, especially at these critical times when we see Russian troops amassing with growing intensity,” IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu said.
Reform Party MP Jürgen Ligi said Ukraine needs weapons, and Estonia's mission is to say that out loud.
“We have nothing abundant in our arms depots. We must acknowledge that we are a small state and must look at what Ukraine currently requires,” SDE MP Marianne Mikko said, adding that the weapons Estonia has, Ukraine does not need.
Center Party's Rene Toomse said Ukraine has enough weapons, but lacks meaningful leadership and protection for soldiers – such as bullet proof vests, helmets.
Martin Helme, of the Conservative People's Party, said Estonia's resources must be used to defend Estonia. He added that Estonia should ask richer European and NATO states to send their weapons and capabilities to Ukraine.
“I think that what the President said out is an Estonian problem, and a European problem. If Putin is not stopped and if Russia is not stopped in eastern Ukraine then later it will be more difficult,” the Free Party's Andres Herkel said, adding that he supports the idea.