Reinsalu in Kyiv: Winter is coming, rebuilding Ukraine must start now

Rebuilding Ukraine's infrastructure before winter arrives is a priority, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) told Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting on Wednesday.

Reinsalu met with Zelenskyy, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk in Kyiv to discuss Russia and Estonia's support for Ukraine.

In meetings with the president and prime minister, Reinsalu underlined that starting reconstruction is essential.

"We must stop making promises and get to work," Reinsalu told Shmyhal.

"Winter is coming and many people have no shelter due to the destruction caused by Russia. The time to get to work is now." Reinsalu said, adding the price of the aggression must be made as severe as possible for Russia.

Efforts also need to be made to prevent Russia from evading sanctions and to create more severe and efficient sanctions which target energy carriers.

The foreign minister added that Russia needs to pay for its damage in Ukraine and Russia's frozen assets should be used for this purpose.

 "With its brutal war in Ukraine, Russia has violated all principles of international law and is subject to paying reparations," he noted. "We have a moral duty to hold war criminals and aggressors accountable. The credibility of the rules-based order depends on it," he said.

Shmyhal thanked the Estonian Government and people for their support and assistance.

"Estonia transferred arms to Ukraine for a third of its budget. And in terms of the ratio of the country's GDP to the amount of assistance, Estonia is a leader in supporting our country, and Ukrainians appreciate it greatly," he said.

The foreign minister said Estonia supports Ukraine's EU aspirations and will offer assistance. Zelenskyy thanked Estonia for the assistance and continued support it has given to Ukraine.

"Today I saw Ukraine's strength. Ukraine is not tired," Reinsalu said. "We must also not get tired. Russia must lose this war."


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Editor: Helen Wright

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