Reinsalu, Jourova: Russia threatens everything we fought for
Russia's actions in Ukraine threaten peace, democracy and the rule of law, said Vera Jourova, European Commission's Vice-President for Values and Transparency, during a visit to Tallinn on Friday.
"Russia is not only threatening Ukraine's independence, the rules-based international order and post-Cold War security in Europe. The Kremlin decided to attack everything that you, Estonians, and other Central and Eastern Countries fought for only a generation ago – peace, democracy and the rule of law," she said.
The Czech politician and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) discussed Europe's values during wartime at a public seminar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
They touched on Russia's aggression in Ukraine, raising the cost of the war for Russia and the role of the European Union in supporting Ukraine.
Reinsalu thanked the European Commission for supporting Ukraine and welcomed Jourova's "Radio Free Russia" initiative in stopping Russian propaganda.
"Russia's war in Ukraine is a war on democracy and Western values," Reinsalu said, adding that Estonia supports initiatives that give voice to members of the Russian opposition who support democratic principles.
The officials agreed Russia must be held accountable for its aggression in Ukraine and a special international tribunal must be established.
"The leaders of Russia must not feel they have impunity," Reinsalu said.
The foreign minister said Estonia is still looking for legal ways of using Russian assets frozen in Estonia and the EU for reconstruction in Ukraine.
Both Reinsalu and Jourova highlighted International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is today, during their opening remarks.
"It is the duty of humanity to fight for the prevention of all crimes against humanity," Reinsalu said, calling on other countries to recognize crimes in Ukraine as genocide.
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Editor: Helen Wright