Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) has expressed his full support to Ukraine, in the light of the ongoing hostilities in the east of that country, and the recent build-up of Russian Federation military forces on the Russian side of the border.
Ratas, who has been widely touted as a potential presidential candidate ahead of this autumn's elections, said: "Russia's aggressive behavior is dangerous", during a video linked meeting with his Ukrainian opposite number Dmytro Razumkov Monday.
"We commend Ukraine's extraordinary restraint in the face of Russia's provocations, and affirm that we support Ukraine's aspirations towards Euro-Atlantic integration one hundred percent," Ratas continued, according to a Riigikogu press release.
Ratas noted that Ukraine has been bold in its implementation of major and complex reforms, despite seven years of hostilities, and deserves great credit for that.
"Ukraine has undertaken a difficult judicial reform, and serious efforts are required to combat corruption, but we are sure that you can successfully meet all challenges," Ratas told Razumkov.
Estonia is ready and willing to share its experience and support on a wide-range of areas, including in cyber warfare and related activity, Ratas said, noting Ukraine is a priority development cooperation nation, from an Estonian perspective.
Estonia would also be allocating half-a-million euros in relief money towards displaced persons and others caught up in the conflict, which began in 2014, with children and other vulnerable people of particular concern.
The ongoing Nord Stream 2 sub-Baltic Sea gas pipeline and Estonia's opposition to the project, water supply in the Crimea – a region annexed by the Russian Federation, from Ukraine, in 2014, and the functioning of both Riigikogu and Rada during the pandemic were also on the table at Monday's meeting.
The Riigikogu has a week's recess which started Monday; Ratas has pledged to visit all 15 of Estonia's counties in the coming weeks. He has not publicly ruled himself in or out as a presidential candidate.
Editor: Andrew Whyte