In a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Tallinn on Monday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas confirmed Estonia's continuing and wide-ranging support of Ukraine.
"We absolutely cannot forget and take for granted the fact that, for the third year running, military action is taking place right here in Europe in which thousands of people have been killed or injured," Ratas told Poroshenko. "We must recognize that for Ukraine, this means that the country as a whole is unable to develop, but for the rest of Europe this is a threat to overall security and stability."
According to the Prime Minister, the EU's stance on Russia's aggression is unequivocal and unanimous — Europe supports the complete restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity both through a policy of sanctions as well as through economic support offered to Ukraine.
"The ongoing conflict must be resolved quickly and peacefully," Ratas stated. "It will also be Estonia's duty to work toward a resolution of the crisis during our presidency of the EU. I can assure you — Ukraine is not alone."
During their meeting, Ratas emphasized that progress with reforms and a successful fight against corruption would not only have a direct impact on Ukraine's economy, business environment and foreign investments but also on the country's societal cohesion and national security as well.
The Prime Minister additionally assured Poroshenko that Ukraine could count on Estonia's strong support when it comes to the matter of visa liberalization and the entry into force of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
Nestor: We hope to see a successful Ukraine
"We hpe we shall one day see a successful Ukraine," President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor said at a meeting with Poroshenko. "The road there is complicated, but if the people of Ukraine want it and the politicians of Ukraine stick to the reform policy, it can be achieved."
He urged the Riigikogu and Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada to cooperate closely in encouraging parliamentarianism and democratic processes as well as continuing reforms aimed at modernizing the economy and promoting the rule of law.
Nestor assured the Ukrainian president that Russia would first have to fulfill the Minsk Agreement before the easing or abolishing of sanctions against Russia could be discussed.
"Estonia is among those countries who consider it important to provide continuous and extensive support to Ukraine as it keeps itself on the democratic course of reforms," he said. "One part of it will be to end Russia's hostile activities in Eastern Ukraine and to fulfill the Minsk Agreement. Before this, it is not possible to begin discussing the abolition or easing of sanctions against Russia. Ukraine must have the possibility to restore control over its territory."
The EU demonstrated impressive unity in its response to the violation of international law by Russia, Nestor remarked.
The meeting betwen the President of the Riigikogu and President Poroshenko was attended by Vice-President of the Riigikogu Taavi Rõivas, Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso and head of teh Estonia-Ukraine parliamentary group Johannes Kert.
The Ukrainian head of state, who was in Estonia for an official visit on Monday, will be visiting Finland on Tuesday.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla