Baltic FMs: Russia should be politically isolated after Ukraine attack
The Baltic foreign ministers called for Russia to be kicked out of the swift payment system and to be politically isolated after its attack on Ukraine on Thursday morning.
The text was first posted on Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics' social media page and is a joint statement from him, Estonia foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets and Lithuania foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.
All three ministers are currently on an official visit to the Ukrainian capital.
The statement is republished in full below:
"We, the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania condemn in the strongest possible way the open large-scale Russian aggression against the independent, peaceful, and democratic Ukraine.
"This act of aggression is not acceptable, it's a blatant violation of the international law, of all international norms, and a crime against Ukrainian people that we condemn.
"All of us in the whole international community need to condemn it in the strongest possible way, to impose strongest possible sanctions on Russia, including disengaging Russia from SWIFT, isolating it politically and being firm in our support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity of independent Ukraine.
"We would need to urgently provide Ukrainian people with weapons, ammunition and any other kind of military support to defend itself as well as economic, financial and political assistance and support, humanitarian aid. In this difficult moment, we stand united with the people of Ukraine.
"Dear Ukrainian friends, we are in your historic capital Kyiv, we support you and do anything possible so that the aggressor will pay the highest possible price. Slava Ukraini!"
Foreign ministers from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are visiting Kyiv on Thursday for a two-day visit to discuss Baltic support to Ukraine.
Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Reform) said: "The main purpose of the visit is to express support from the Baltic States to Ukraine in the face of Russia's military pressure."
She reiterated Estonia's support for Ukraine and called Russia's decision to recognize the independence of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics as "a grave violation of international law and the Minsk agreements".
"Estonia does not recognize this decision, nor do we recognize the incorporation of occupied Crimea into Russia," she said.
The ministers are scheduled to meet with the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov.
On Wednesday evening, after arriving Liimets wrote on social media that she was looking forward to tomorrow's meetings.
Great to start my visit to Ukraine with a walk in beautiful #Kyiv Looking forward to our program & meetings @DmytroKuleba together with my Baltic colleagues— Eva-Maria Liimets (@eliimets) February 23, 2022
St. Sophia's Cathedral pic.twitter.com/emd2BZAWfm
While Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics called for President Vladimir Putin to "stop the war!"
#Kyiv #Ukraine tonight, a few moments ago— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) February 23, 2022
Very beautiful and peaceful city
Ukraine does not deserve the war
Europe does not deserve the war
The world does not deserve the war
Mr. Putin, stop the war! pic.twitter.com/dAOAh774ZK
Editor's note: This article has been updated to add the joint statement from the Baltic foreign ministers.
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Editor: Helen Wright