Prime minister: Any current talk of peace with Russia is dangerous

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas with President of France Emmanuel Macron at the Versailles summit in March this year.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas with President of France Emmanuel Macron at the Versailles summit in March this year. Source: SCANPIX / AFP

Any talk of peace terms with the Russian Federation at present would be dangerous, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says. Russian forces must be completely pushed out of Ukraine, and the security of that country ensured, as a precursor to any talks, the prime minister added.

Kallas made her remarks to ERR Monday, saying that NATO, first and foremost, is a defensive organization. She also noted that she could not directly comment on French President Emmanuel Macron's statements on offering security guarantees to Russia, as reported in the international media, adding that France is a "good ally" of Estonia.

Kallas said: "NATO is an alliance created to protect its members; one which was created precisely to protect millions of people from Russian war crimes and expansion."

France and Estonia are both NATO members.

"However, as a general comment, I would say Estonia's position on guaranteeing European security has been long-standing and clear: Today the focus of the free world must be on how to help Ukraine prevail /.../ and secure its security in the long term," Kallas said.

"War criminals must be brought to justice, and damage compensated for. This is the only way to lasting peace, and preventing future aggression," the prime minister added.

Russian demands for security guarantees are nothing new down the years, she added.

"This is a veil under which [Russia's] wars of conquest and other war crimes are justified. It is also a theme that is used to promote the politics of spheres of influence, in order to take away from countries their right to make sovereign decisions about their foreign and defense policy choices," Kallas continued.

This question remains relevant to Europe's entire security, she added.

"We cannot allow a situation where we accept being trampled underfoot. For these principles to continue to apply, Ukraine needs to be victorious, and the aggression needs toto fail unequivocally, while the [war] criminals need to be brought to justice. Any premature peace ahead of achieving these goals will not ensure security, for anyone in Europe," Kallas said.

The prime minister added that she regularly discusses European security arrangements face-to-face with President Macron.

Since Ukraine holds the initiative on the battlefield currently, as evidenced by the liberation of various formerly occupied zones, any ceasefire would help Russian forces more, in order to obtain breathing space for renewed aggression, she added.

This made it: "Dangerous to talk about peace or a ceasefire."

"There is an ongoing war of aggression, in which Russia has invaded its neighbor, and in the light of this, our focus must be on ensuring Ukraine's security," the prime minister added.

Macron, speaking to French TV channel TF1 during an official visit to the U.S. last week, said addressing Russian fears of NATO being in its neighborhood was "essential" in addressing Europe's security architecture in future.

His comments met with sharp criticism in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and also Finland, as well as in Ukraine.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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