Institute director: Will be a while yet until serious Russia-Ukraine talks

Estonian Foreign Policy Institute director Kristi Raik.
Estonian Foreign Policy Institute director Kristi Raik. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Speaking on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" on Tuesday night, Kristi Raik, director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute, said that it is currently still unlikely that a ceasefire deal will be reached in talks between Russia and Ukraine, adding that Russia, which has been advancing more slowly than planned, may turn more brutal in war.

According to Raik, the war in Ukraine has not yet reached the point where serious talks could begin.

"Fighting is still continuing on the battlefield right now, and in order to get to the point of real ceasefire negotiations, it needs to reach the point where either side finds that they can't go on or no longer finds it reasonable to wage war anymore," she explained.

The institute director also doesn't think a top meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is realistic at this point either.

"The situation is more positive than we could have expected from Ukraine's view," she said, but acknowledged that Russia isn't going to start radically reassessing its objectives now because of this either.

"Russia is still going to take this as far as it's capable," Raik said. "Since Russia hasn't advanced as well as they expected to, there is a risk that its level of brutality will increase."

Symbolic support for Ukraine is important, including visits and the launching of the EU accession process, she continued. "This sent a symbolic signal [to Ukraine] that you belong to the European family," she said. "All kinds of signals like this are important."

Raik said that the launching of the EU accession process was a very significant and positive step, despite public views to the contrary.

"From Russia's point of view, the West is an enemy in this conflict, and the West has an extremely strong interest in Russia not winning this war," she said. "That may not be stated as such outright, but we understand that this isn't just a matter of Ukraine, but also that how the war in Ukraine ends will be vitally important to European security for decades to come."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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