Prime Minister: We will continue to raise Ukraine issue at UNSC

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Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) talking via video link to her Ukrainian opposite number Denys Shmyhal Friday. Source: Social Media

Ukraine continues to be a matter of key importance to Estonia while the latter holds its UN Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

Talking to her Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal Friday, Kallas stressed Estonia's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

She said: "As an elected member of the UNSC, we are keeping the issue of Russian aggression and the illegal annexation of Crimea at the forefront of the council's attention.

"An informal UNSC meeting on Crimea initiated by Estonia is underway. We want to again strengthen our partners' response to Russia's violations of international law," Kallas added, according to BNS.

The Estonian-initiated meeting marked the seventh anniversary of the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation. Estonia holds a non-permanent seat on the UNSC 2020-2021, while Russia is a permanent member.

The two leaders also talked cooperation in resolving the coronavirus ealth care crisis, bilateral projects, especially in the digital field, and ongoing reforms in Ukraine, which Kallas implied predicated Ukraine's closer movement towards the EU and NATO.

Kallas said that the EU should continue to help Eastern Partnership (EaP) states both via the UNICEF-led global initiative COVAX and via the EU's own vaccine distribution mechanism, though from an Estonian perspective this would be contingent on getting the domestic vaccine situation improved first, she said. "Estonia is ready to contribute to this as soon as the vaccine drought eases."

Kallas also called on Kyiv to join a project being developed in cooperation between Estonia and the World Health Organization (WHO), aimed at the safe and transparent control, checking and mutual recognition of vaccination certificates from various countries at a time when differing standards and even out-and-out forgeries are being regularly reported.

The pair signed off with the usual expressions of desire to meet face-to-face once the pandemic is over.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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