Kallas: Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories a 'land grab'

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Friday said Russia's annexation is rewriting the European map and should be called a "land grab".

Estonia will never recognize Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory, which totals approximately 20 percent of the country, the prime minister said.

"It is the size of 108,800 km2 – this is comparable to Austria and Belgium combined. Or Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands combined. Or 30 percent of Germany. Or the size of the Republic of Korea. If you add Crimea to it, the territory is comparable to three Belgium and the Netherlands combined. And around 40 percent of Germany," she said in a statement.

Kallas said the EU needs to respond with additional sanctions on Russian oil and gas to reduce the country's income.

"Russia is stealing Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions from Ukraine and threatening the world with nuclear weapons," she said.

"And let's call things with the right names. Russia tries to rewrite the map of Europe. It's a land grab. It's theft. Putin hopes to add legitimacy to his invasion with this step. The international community will never recognize it."

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an accord to annex the occupied regions in eastern Ukraine, after declaring that Russia would never give them up and would defend them with all means available, the BBC reported.

Russia does not fully control the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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