EU Ambassador to Ukraine: Europe does not have a unity problem

Matti Maasikas.
Matti Maasikas. Source: ERR

The unity of allies is strong in the face of Russia's NATO demands but diplomacy is complicated as Russia can act alone while the west must coordinate, EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas said on Tuesday.

Speaking on "Esimene stuudio", Maasikas said the job of diplomats is to prevent the worst-case scenario from occurring in Ukraine, but this is not an easy task.

"The current situation is exacerbated by the fact that there is one partner on one side - Russia, the United States has allies it must discuss and coordinate with NATO with its 30 members, and somehow the European Union is also in the picture. All this will [also] be coordinated and discussed with the Ukrainians," he said.

He said the allies' unity over Ukraine has been very strong.

"Throughout the current crisis, coordination between the allies has worked very well. The United States is coordinating its actions, its response to the Russians, the countries of the European Union are coordinating very well. There is no unity problem," he said.

Maasikas said the European Union may have differences on smaller issues, but if the conflict in Ukraine escalates it will be united and act quickly.

"The basics - support for Ukraine, the requirement for Russia to ease tensions, and the readiness for its own steps, measures, sanctions - they are in place and there is unity," he said.

The diplomat also said the U.S. will not come to an agreement with Russia without its allies. "The coordination that has taken place so far is exemplary," he said.

Maasikas said Macron's alleged plan for the "Finlandization" of Ukraine will not fly in Kyiv. It would mean a "radical change in Ukraine's foreign policy".

Speaking about the situation in Kyiv he said people are anxious but they are not panicking. "People are not buying preservatives or canned food, they are not emptying bank accounts. The readiness to protect their country is very strong," he said.

Maasikas said Estonian aid to, and political support for, Ukraine has not gone unnoticed and reflects well on the country.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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