Reinsalu to French FM Colonna: West must send more weapons to Ukraine

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The West must quickly provide Ukraine with air defense systems and missiles, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) told French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna during her visit to Estonia on Tuesday.

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has continued for eight months now and the West must jointly continue all efforts to help Ukraine fight for the freedom of its country and people, he said.

"We must do everything to make sure Ukraine wins this war. Right now it is crucial for the West to send intermediate and long-range air defense systems and missiles to Ukraine to protect Ukraine's civilian infrastructure from systematic destruction," the minister said.

Russia is using military escalation and nuclear threats in an attempt to break western support, he said.

Reinsalu called for the European Union to move forward with its ninth sanctions package, to expand measures against the Belarusian regime and reiterated the establishment of an international special tribunal to hold the perpetrators of the crimes committed in Ukraine to account.

The pair also discussed further options for supporting Ukraine and developing bilateral cooperation. They also visited the Maarjamäe memorial for the victims of communism and French NATO soldier stationed at Tapa Military Base.

Colonna also met with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) during her visit.

Kallas said Russia is using all kinds of tricks, be it attacks on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine, threats of a nuclear catastrophe, or a propaganda campaign about a "dirty bomb" to scare us and break unity.

"Russia wants to make us hesitate, to paralyze our decision-making ability, and end our support for Ukraine. It is therefore all the more important that we do not take a single step back," she said.

The ministers also discussed the use of frozen Russian assets and the issue of impunity.

Kallas also highlighted Estonia's "successful" military cooperation with France in Africa.

"Our servicemen served together in Mali. Cooperation with the French to ensure security outside Europe will certainly continue in the future," said Kallas.  

After the meeting, Kallas wrote on social media: "Thanked France for presence in Estonia. Its troops are here, its pilots have helped protect our skies. A clear signal that NATO defends every inch of its territory."


Editor's note: This article was updated to add quotes from Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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