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Kaljulaid: Ukraine stands for all of us

Estonia and Ukraine will develop their services together. President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at the Digital Society Sandbox launch in Tallinn in 2019 which was attended by the President of Ukraine.
Estonia and Ukraine will develop their services together. President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking at the Digital Society Sandbox launch in Tallinn in 2019 which was attended by the President of Ukraine. Source: Mattias Tammet/Office of the President

We all stand for Ukraine, former President of Estonia Kersti Kajulaid said on Wednesday, the Ukrainian Day of Unity, during a visit to Dnipro in eastern Ukraine.

What would be a better place to spend the day of unity of Ukraine today than here with you in this museum in Dnipro? I have already visited the Eastern-Ukraine Anti-Terrorist Operation museum and I really wish didn't have to exist at all. But we do. And this is a strong signal. This is a strong signal and evidence, that while the whole world is talking about the beginning of the war, trying to estimate the potential of the beginning of the war, the war has been ongoing. It's the 8th year of the war for the Ukrainian people. And that is why we stand here today in the City of Dnipro in eastern Ukraine to remind the World.

We still hope that Russia will de-escalate the tensions, there is still space to do it. But we have to remember that it is only Russia who can and has to do it. No other country has escalated it.

President Kersti Kaljulaid visiting the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine in May 2018. Source: Tarmo Maiberg/ERR

We are ready to insist and we will always insist on the right of Ukraine to choose its partners and allies freely. Estonians have always stood for the open doors policy of NATO and we continue to be in that position.

I hope that this situation finds a peaceful solution based on international law. In this Ukraine stands for all of us – peace-loving democratic nations, law-abiding nations – and therefore we all stand for Ukraine. One for all, all for one and there can not be any other way of thinking.

We sincerely hope from Estonia that this year, next year, the years after will be peaceful because otherwise there will be far more sad families not only in Ukraine but also in Russia. There will be more tragedy. And the basement of our international security arrangement will be sincerely shaken if not broken.

That is why we are here today.

Kersti Kaljulaid is a board member of the Yalta European Strategy (YES), a forum discussing Ukraine's European future and global context. She visited Ukraine a number of times as president.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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