Prime minister: Estonia, Croatia on same page with defense, other issues
Estonia and Croatia are like-minded on many issues, including Ukraine and defense and security matters, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says, following Croatia's addition to the Eurozone and the Schengen Area of free movement, at the start of this year.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Tallinn Thursday, when Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic made an official visit to Estonia, Kallas said: "As NATO Allies, we are like-minded on many issues."
"Croatia's contribution to the collective defence on the Eastern flank is much appreciated. Croatian soldiers are part of the eFP battle group in Poland. We must also support Ukraine's path towards NATO membership, based on commitments made in Bucharest in 2008, and in Madrid in 2022. Ukraine's full post-war Euro-Atlantic integration is fundamental for its future and essential for European security," the prime minister continued, via a Government Office press release.
"We were good friends already when working in the European Parliament. Relations between Estonia and Croatia are very good, and we discussed during our meeting how to deepen them even further," she continued, citing cross-border digital prescription cooperation and other areas relating to tech and innovation as great examples of this.
On security issues, Kallas said that she and Plenkovic had worked on Ukraine from their time as MEPs at the European Parliament, noting that practical, as well as political, support for Ukraine must be not only continued but also ramped up, to bring victory on Ukraine's terms to a conflict which is far from over.
Friendly nations should reexamine their own military stockpiles to find as much scope for ammunition and weaponry, to send to Ukraine, as is feasible, while maximizing sanctions, and lowering the crude oil price cap further – which will further harm Russia's ability to wage war while not bringing as adverse effects to other countries as had initially been feared, the prime minister added.
Ways to find solutions, including at EU level, to make use of frozen Russian assets, must continue to be sought, she went on, as should the setting up of a special court to try war criminals.
Kallas and Plenkovic also discussed developments in the Western Balkans, adding that closer NATO-EU cooperation has been beneficial for that region, as evidenced by the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana, Albania, and should continue.
Croatia has an honorary consul in Estonia; the nearest full embassy is in Helsinki.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte