Ministry working group visits conflict zone in Ukraine to reaffirm support

Estonian and Ukrainian flags
Estonian and Ukrainian flags Source: Ministry of Defense

On the initiative of Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary-general Jonatan Vseviov, a joint working visit to Ukraine was organized to underline Estonia's support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic ambitions and find new practical cooperation opportunities to contribute to Ukraine's reform processes.

On the first day of the visit, the working group of eight ministry secretary-generals and the state secretary visited the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, while on the second and third day they had meetings with policymakers and officials in Kyiv.

In eastern Ukraine, the group received first-hand impressions of the security situation on the ground and the daily lives of soldiers and civilians in the conflict zone. They met with the governor of Donetsk, soldiers from the 24th and 25th Brigade and visited the line of contact near Avdiivka.

"We should not let the world forget that for eight years, a war has been continuing on the territory of a sovereign European country," foreign affairs ministry secretary-general Jonatan Vseviov said. "Estonia's support for Ukraine and its territorial integrity is unwavering and we are making every effort to keep the international community focused on Ukraine and the unacceptable aggression against Ukraine."

Estonia is supporting the residents of eastern Ukraine through various development cooperation projects, the foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

"We are helping to organize business workshops for internally displaced women from frontline regions and are funding training for Ukraine's experts who work with children with special needs in the conflict region," Vseviov said.

In Kyiv, the group met with their colleagues in Ukraine's government agencies. "In addition to discussing the security situation, one of the main objectives of our visit was to find practical points of cooperation and share Estonia's experience with Ukraine, where important reforms, including the justice reform, are currently underway," Vseviov said.

The meetings resulted in several cooperation opportunities for developing the domain of education and youth, and reforming public administration. An agreement was also reached to launch consultations between the justice and interior ministries, and to conclude amendments to the social security agreement between the countries, stalled since 2015.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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