Estonia to Continue Helping Ukraine
The Foreign Minister of Estonia, Urmas Paet, said Estonia will continue helping Ukraine and is open to any requests from Kiev, therefore humanitarian aid is a possibility in the near future.
After the events on Maidan Square, Estonia showed its solidarity by taking injured people from Ukraine and treating them in Haapsalu and Tallinn. Foreign Minister confirmed to ERR radio that all programs striving to help Ukraine change and reform will continue to be put into practice.
Paet said that due to recent changes in Ukraine’s foreign policy and the new government’s priorities, Estonia will openly respond to Ukraine’s requests. For example, Ukraine has shown interest in IT-counseling and our experts are ready to provide such help. An increased number of scholarships have been given to students from Ukraine so that they could concentrate on their studies in Estonia.
“Currently discussions are in progress to determine how and to whom would it be sensible to forward the humanitarian aid in order for Ukraine to fully recover from the tragic events from these past months”, Paet said.
Direct financial aid has not been requested from Estonia. Financial aid, including loans, can only be distributed by a group decision of all European Union countries. More importantly, cooperation between EU and IMF has to be taken into account. The precondition to such actions are specific reform outlines from Ukraine, Paet said.
The Foreign Minister said Ukraine has sought financial aid from the European Union, and the EU has done the preliminary steps for possible relief.
Paet recognized that Ukraine is in a state of war during which implementing new reforms is difficult. The long-lasting corruption in the state apparatus has also crippled its ability to further broaden its reforms.