Prime Minister: Our goal is Putin's complete isolation
Russia's invasion of Ukraine must fail, while the total isolation of its leader, Vladimir Putin, is a goal for western allies, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.
Speaking after a meeting of Nordic and Baltic leaders of of the British-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) member states, hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Number 10, Downing Street, Kallas said that: "Our goal is Putin's total isolation".
The prime minister also noted that the Ukrainian people's unflagging bravery in defending their homeland, along with the resolve of the west in its response to the invasion, have both come as nasty surprises to the Russian leader.
"For this reason, we have to continue to isolate Putin's regime from the free world, as well as that of his accomplice [Belarusian dictator Alexander] Lukashenko."
This isolation starts at home, with the JEF being key in ensuring domestic defense and security in the Nordic-Baltic region and in a changed situation wholly transformed by Putin's military aggression, one which makes increased military spending a given.
"I thank the U.K., France, Denmark, the U.S. and other [JEF] members, who have already increased their defense presence in Estonia, or are taking part in various exercises here," Kallas said.
"The security of our borders is backed by important defensive cooperation, across all formats," the prime minister continued, according to a government press release.
"For this reason, concrete steps need to be taken, including the organization of exercises, to ensure that the JEF also secures the security of the Nordic-Baltic region," Kallas went on.
Kallas noted that Russia's brutal aggression against Ukraine has created immeasurable suffering for the Ukrainian people, adding all assistance which can possibly be rendered to those people in their fight to maintain their independence must be rendered.
Kallas said: "The most important thing remains military aid, though humanitarian aid, including access to medicines, food and drinking water, is becoming increasingly critical," she said, adding that the functioning of humanitarian and transport corridors must continue to be ensured.
To that end, Estonia has given over €220-million worth of both combined, and continues to aid Ukraine.
While sanctions imposed on Russia and Russian individuals have started to bit, further, tougher measures are needed for as long as the war continues, Kallas added, while ultimately the war crimes committed by Putin and his regime will not go unpunished, including via the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which has already started its investigation.
Ways in which the JEF's readiness and capacity for contributing to the Nordic-Baltic region's security were also on the table at Monday's meeting in London.
Other leaders present on Monday included U.K. defense minister Ben Wallace, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.
The talks continue Tuesday, when Estonia is being represented by defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform).
The JEF is British-led and focuses mainly on maritime defense, in the Baltic and the North Atlantic.
Editor: Andrew Whyte