Kallas: Estonia ready to raise Ukraine situation at UN Security Council

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Estonia at a meeting of the United Nation's Security Council. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Estonia is ready to raise the "worrying" situation in Ukraine at the United Nations Security Council, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Thursday.

Speaking at the government's press conference, Kallas described the situation with the Russian military build up on Ukraine's borders as worrying.

The prime minister said Estonia is in constant contact over the matter both with Ukraine and its own allies in NATO.

Kallas said Estonia has discussed with representatives of Ukraine whether Estonia could raise the topic at the UN Security Council. At present, Ukraine is focused on activities in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 

Estonia is prepared to raise the issue at the UN Security Council, she said.

On Wednesday, the UK's BBC reported that Ukrainian intelligence sources had told the broadcaster the extra forces at the border number 16 battalion tactical groups, which would be up to 14,000 soldiers.

In total, according to the Ukrainian presidency, Russia now has about 40,000 on the eastern border and about 40,000 in Crimea. Russia has been moving additional forces to the border since mid-March.

Estonia is a non-permanent member of the UNSC between 2020-2021.

Estonia stands in full solidarity with Ukraine 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) is on a joint visit to Kyiv on Thursday along with the foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania, Edgars Rinkevics and Gabrielius Landsbergis.

The ministers were invited to Kyiv by Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

The purpose of the visit is to affirm Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania's solidarity with Ukraine in light of destabilizing activity by Russia, to express support to Ukraine and to get an in-depth overview of the situation.

The ministers will discuss practical steps to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, strengthen security cooperation and advance the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

Liimets tweeted Estonia "stands in full solidarity with Ukraine" and "firmly support[s] Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Euro-Atlantic aspirations and reforms".

Speaking at the press conference, Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics said: "It is absolutely clear that Ukraine is not alone, Ukraine has friends and partners."

The four foreign ministers also made a joint statement, which is republished below:

"In the light of ongoing Russian escalation and build-up of military forces around Ukraine borders, we, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania and Ukraine,

Taking into consideration our close bonds of friendship, partnership and cooperation which have been developing between our States,

Wishing to provide stability and security in the Euro-Atlantic space,

Realizing the threats posed by the aggressive policy of the Russian Federation for the entire European continent:

Have stated the following:

We express our unwavering support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,

We also support its European and Euro-Atlantic membership aspirations, including as it was stated in the NATO Bucharest summit declaration, and encourage Ukraine to continue necessary reforms in this respect.  

We deplore the ongoing Russian build-up and concentration of military forces in close proximity to the Ukrainian borders, and in the occupied and illegally annexed Crimean peninsula.

We call upon Russia to cease its provocations as well as to dispel all concerns by being fully transparent in accordance to the risk reduction mechanism under Vienna document and uphold OSCE principles and commitments.

We commend Ukraine for its steadfast commitment to the political solution of the conflict.

We are committed to foster and intensify our bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the sphere of security and defence, exchange of information, fighting aggressive propaganda and disinformation, hybrid threats and coordinate efforts to address common challenges in the field of energy security."

You can watch the press conference below.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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