The Riigikogu has issued an appeal to legislatures in European Union and NATO member states for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, in response to Russia's war on that country, now nearing its third week.
The Riigikogu also invites EU member states to support Ukraine's official application EU candidate state status, and calls for a road-map for Ukraine's NATO membership as well.
Signed by Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center), the parliament's address passed a vote at the 101-seat chamber on Monday, with 90 MPs in favor.
The Riigikogu calls for the no-fly zone to avoid further mass civilian casualties in Ukraine, and also requests states close their ports and airspace to Russian flights and vessels.
The English text of the Riigikogu communication is as follows:
The Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) expresses its support to the defenders and the people of the state of Ukraine in their fight against the Russian Federation, which has launched a criminal war, and calls on showing absolute support to Ukraine in its war for maintaining its freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Riigikogu underlines that the Russian Federation's unprovoked aggression and military activities constitute a crime against peace with no statute of limitations, and that all war crimes that have been committed will have to be punished.
The Riigikogu asks the UN member states to take immediate steps to establish a no-fly zone in order to prevent massive civilian casualties in Ukraine.
The Riigikogu urges all national parliaments to adopt statements that call on their governments to support the imposition of additional sanctions against the Russian Federation, as well as the Republic of Belarus, which participates in the aggression.
The Riigikogu calls for the immediate imposition of a comprehensive trade embargo on the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, which would restrict the capability of the aggressor states to wage war. The Riigikogu calls on states to close their airspace and ports to the aircraft and ships of the Russian Federation.
The Riigikogu calls on the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to vote for excluding the Russian Federation from the membership of the Council of Europe, and calls on the member states to adopt a relevant decision immediately.
The Riigikogu invites the member states to support Ukraine's official application for the status of a EU candidate state and calls on granting Ukraine a roadmap to membership in NATO.
Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has reiterated calls for a NATO no-fly zone over non-NATO member Ukraine, arguing that it would protect NATO member states themselves as well as Ukrainians.
So far, the U.S. and other NATO allies have declined to set up a no-fly zone, mainly in the interests of not escalating the current conflict further and bearing in mind Russia is a nuclear power.
A no-fly zone would require being enforced by NATO and would include preparedness to shoot down any aircraft violating the zone.
This would be the case even with limited no-fly zones cordoning off humanitarian corridors between Ukraine's western border with the EU and its major cities.
Editor: Andrew Whyte