The best response to Russian aggression is successful reform, prime minister Kaja Kallas says. Kallas made her remarks during a visit this week in Ukraine.
Kallas said: "My last visit to Ukraine took place more than five years ago and I am glad to see the progress Ukraine has made since then."
"You kept your nerve and have carried out difficult reforms while fighting a defensive war aimed at breaking up your country. The best answer to aggression is to succeed in reforms," Kallas, who met with her Ukrainian opposite number, Denys Shmyhal, went on.
These reforms would include a full reorientation towards a western outlook, the Estonian prime minister said.
"Estonia supports the territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. We will also do everything we can to make sure that NATO's doors remain open and that the EU reacts to Russia's provocative actions efficiently and appropriately," Kallas added.
Kallas also placed a wreath commemorating the Holodomor, the famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine caused deliberately by the Stalinist regime which led to the deaths of close to 4 million people, on her arrival in Kyiv.
How these reforms might take place, as well as current tensions, was also on the table, with Kallas noting that Estonia uses its non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC – a body the Russian Federation holds a permanent seat on – ed.) to keep front and center the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the insurgency war in eastern Ukraine which started in the same year.
Kallas also praised Ukraine's progress in the e-governance sphere, noting its compatibility with Estonia's systems, though added that underlying reforms such as those affecting the judiciary were also a necessary prerequisite, while innovation is also required in both private and public sectors, she said.
The coronavirus pandemic and Estonia and the EU's vaccine distribution and digital vaccination certification were also discussed Monday, while an overview of the situation in the region of conflict in eastern Ukraine and a meeting with representatives of Crimea's Tatars were due for Tuesday, followed by meetings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba follow on Wednesday, BNS reports.
Editor: Andrew Whyte