Estonian Ambassador to the United States Marina Kaljurand says she knows from her experiences with the 2007 cyber attacks that sanctions against Russia do work, because Russians want physical access to Europe.
In her keynote speech at a discussion on Ukraine at the Heritage Foundation, Kaljurand said the EU visa ban enforced after cyber attacks on Estonian sites in 2007 actually worked, ETV reported on Wednesday.
Kaljurand said Russians want to visit Estonia and educate their children in Europe, and this is why such moves are important.
Riots in Tallinn in April 2007 were sparked by the relocation of a Soviet-era statue and graves of unknown soldiers from a park in the city center to a new site at the Defense Forces Cemetery. Besides the vandalism, the week witnessed extensive denial-of-service cyber attacks from servers located in the Russian Federation and the involvement of Russia-supported youth groups. Kaljurand, then the Estonian ambassador to Russia, physically intimidated in Moscow by protestors.
In addition to specific sanctions, a clear show of support from NATO is equally important, Kaljurand said. Her words were echoed by Kurt Volker, the former US ambassador to NATO, who said the US needs to demonstrate it takes the territorial integrity and security of its allies seriously.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Washington on Wednesday and met with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Also, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved an aid package for Ukraine and proposed sanctions against Ukrainians and Russians responsible for the violence against anti-government protestors in Ukraine.