Kallas: Russia must be treated like a pariah state

Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visit Estonia.
Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visit Estonia. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Russia's "barbaric military aggression" against Ukraine must stop and the free world is doing everything it can to support the Ukrainians, Prime Ministers Kaja Kallas (Reform) and Boris Johnson agreed on Tuesday.

The ministers agreed that Russia has become a pariah state and must be treated accordingly, it was said in a statement following a meeting between the leaders.

Johnson, who was on an official visit to Estonia, and Kallas said "swift and very much needed decisions" have been enacted in recent days in response to Russia and Belarus' actions.

Kallas said the "economic and political isolation of Putin's regime" is a shared goal of the two nations.

She said innocent people are continuing to die in Ukraine and the world is "bearing witness to the war crimes" committed by President Vladimir Putin's soldiers.

"We have to do more to stop the Putin war machine and isolate the aggressor," she said, calling on countries around the world to do more, adding the priority is to ensure practical help reaches Ukraine as quickly as possible.

Kallas also reaffirmed her support for Ukraine joining the EU: "At this very moment, the brave people of Ukraine are fighting for a democratic Europe. Estonia has always supported their accession to the European Union, and we must send them a clear signal that those membership prospects remain."

Johnson and Kallas discussed defense cooperation and visited Tapa Military bases alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenburg.

The UK leads the Enhanced Foreward Presence (eFP) battlegroup in Estonia and recently agreed to double its number of troops in the country.

"Our aim is for there to be a permanent and more sizeable NATO military presence in our country," Kallas said, thanking Johnson for additional troops and supplies.

"It can be very clearly seen and felt here in Tapa today just how effectively NATO's collective defence works"

Johnson said Estonia has the UK's full support.

"We are committed to helping Ukraine and protecting our NATO friends & allies – exactly why we've doubled numbers of British troops in Estonia in recent weeks," he posted on social media on Monday.

Stoltenberg also visited the base, his second visit of the day with Johnson after the pair met British troops in Poland before flying to Estonia.

The NATO chief said he welcomed the UK's additional contribution to the military alliance.

"Our message to President Putin is clear: stop the war, pull out your troops from #Ukraine & engage in dialogue in good faith," he wrote on social media after the meeting.

You can watch the press conference between the ministers here.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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