Estonia hopes US, France resolve Aukus conflict as soon as possible
Estonia is worried about the conflict between the United States and France over a submarine deal and is hoping the two countries resolve their issues as soon as possible, said President Kersti Kaljulaid and Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center).
After Australia backed out of a deal signed with French shipbuilder Naval Group in 2016 to build a new fleet of submarines and instead joined forces with the U.S. and the U.K., France responded by withdrawing its ambassadors from the U.S. and Australia.
Liimets said Estonia has been in solidarity with its EU ally France, but she would not like to take a stance on which side has acted falsely in the quarrel.
"For us to give assessments to one or the other party, we would certainly need more information and we have truly seen that France is very disappointed in this matter. Therefore, we can presume that there has been a misunderstanding somewhere," Liimets told ERR.
There are more and more claims from Europe that the U.S. has not sufficiently discussed its actions with allies recently. First, it was the sudden and confusing withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and now a long-time ally has been left out of an important deal.
The foreign minister emphasized the information exchange between NATO and the U.S. has continued so far, but if anyone feels like an ally is taking unilateral steps, it must be opposed. "We are certainly worried if these steps lead to tension in NATO. It is important for NATO to be unitary for us," Liimets said.
President Kertsi Kaljulaid is also hoping tensions blow over soon. "It is important that they clear this up as soon as possible, so we could all move forward together and that it does not become a topic and a disturbing factor for too long," she told ERR.
According to the White House, President Joe Biden intends to call his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron soon to ease tensions.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste