Kallas: Wednesday Riigikogu statement to address Europe security picture
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' (Reform) Riigikogu statement on Wednesday will include security proposals in the context of the deteriorating situation in Europe, the government office says. Kallas was alreadu expected to make a speech Wednesday on the issue of the ongoing energy costs crisis.
"As part of my statement I will be presenting proposals for the reinforcement of Estonia's security," Kallas said Tuesday, following a cabinet meeting.
"It is important that we continue to reinforce NATO's defense and deterrence position in our region as well," the prime minister continued, according to a government office press release. "And as a country on NATO's border, we ourselves have to contribute more to our own security."
The cabinet were given an overview of the current security situation in Europe, which the government office described as tense, and discussed what should be done to bolster Estonia's security further.
Kallas called the current situation exceptional in the danger it poses, while Russia's military build-ups and threats clearly demonstrate its aim of establishing a new security architecture in Europe.
"The sudden deterioration in the security situation makes it incumbent on us to act smartly and decisively in also shoring up Estonia's security," Kallas went on, adding that further Russian aggression in and towards Ukraine should be expected.
The Prime Minister said she will make the statement both on the security situation and on the energy state of affairs before the Riigikogu, from 2 p.m. today, Wednesday.
The cabinet has convened repeatedly to discuss security issues, as has the governmental Security Committee, the prime minister added.
The Riigikogu itself adopted a statement Tuesday in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, after 67 MPs at the 101-seat house vote in favor of it.
The statement was proposed by 28 opposition MPs from all three opposition parties – Isamaa, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), and calls on all nations to unconditionally support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"The Riigikogu is of the opinion that no decision concerning Ukraine's sovereignty can be made behind Ukraine's back. The policy of spheres of influence is over in Europe, and the Riigikogu condemns all attempts to restore spheres of influence in Europe," the statement read.
"The Riigikogu firmly believes that one of the conditions for ensuring lasting peace in Europe is ending the aggression of Russian Federation against Ukraine," the statement continued, according to a Riigikogu press release.
The statement noted the roots of the current crisis stretch back at least eight years, to 2014 when Crimea was annexed from Ukraine and by the Russian Federation, in the same year that insurgency conflict began in the east of Ukraine.
The statement also condemned Russia's demands that Ukraine not join either NATO or the EU at any time, saying that membership, or non-membership, was a matter for Ukraine alone.
The full text of the statement and the list of signatories from among the opposition MPs is here.
The commander of the Estonian Defense Forces Intelligence Center said Tuesday that Russian deployment of troops to Belarus and on its border with Ukraine is similarly a bid to exert pressure on the country from multiple angles.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte