President Karis: Victory in Ukraine not far if Europe stays united

President Alar Karis.
President Alar Karis. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

President of Estonia Alar Karis said that while changing the Russia policy of major countries like Germany takes more time, victory in Ukraine is not far now if the West manages to remain united.

Commenting on criticism leveled at Germany and France for doing too little to support Ukraine, Karis said on the "Vikerhommik" morning show that change takes time in large countries.

"I have seen the meme of a slow-moving snail [with a single cartridge glued to its shell], while the important thing is that it's moving in the right direction. Germany has made major changes, and I believe it will not reverse course now, go back to the cautious country that it was."

The meme was tweeted by Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnik.

Caption: "German weapons for Ukraine have arrived" Source: Twitter

Karis said that appearances are one thing and reality another.

"France has done quite a bit to help Ukraine. As concerns Germany, their Russia-policy has been different for quite some time. They agreed that cheap oil would be trickling in until the end of times back in Soviet days. But Germany has now turned, while it takes a long time to turn a big ship. I would not be too critical of them (Germany and France – ed.)."

Commenting on French President Emmanuel Macron's frequent phone calls to Vladimir Putin, Karis said that some leaders believe life will return to normal when the war ends.

"The main thing is for European unity to hold. Diplomacy continues, while it is another matter whether it should take place on such a high level."

The war turning to Ukraine's favor depends on military, humanitarian and political assistance the West can provide, Karis suggested.

"They are largely fighting for us. They are already receiving modern weapons and training. If these efforts can be retained, it will be possible to expel Russian troops."

Karis said that sanctions must also continue, and the West remaining united and behind Ukraine is paramount.

"So we demonstrate it not just to the Ukrainians but also Putin that Western unity cannot be eroded just like that. If we can keep this [unity] up, victory in Ukraine is not far."

Karis believes that support for the Russian war machine in the form of countries buying oil and gas is becoming less.

"Lithuania has clearly stated that it will suspend all deliveries from Russia. It will take a little longer for us. There are states in Europe looking for special conditions, which they will likely get. But it will surely help us make progress on the green turn, even though there will be initial setbacks in having to use more oil shale and shale oil in place of gas. But it also promotes work on alternatives as a silver lining," the president said.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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