Political parties' election manifestos share similar foreign policy goals

Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Russia's aggression in Ukraine and EU politics are the main focus of Estonia's political parties' foreign policy proposals at the next election.

The two parties prioritizing foreign policy are the Reform and Center parties, Tallinn University lecturer Catlyn Kirna told Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera". All parties highlight Ukraine and the EU.

"Whereas in the past, for example, the United States was mentioned quite a lot, if you look back at four years ago, now the focus is much more on the European Union, so there is less diversity," said Kirna.

She does not believe there will be big changes to Estonia's foreign policy as the parties agree on the fundamental issues.

"On the basis of the current programs, there do not seem to be very big changes ahead. However, it has also happened in the past that the biggest surprises are not in the election programs," the academic said.

Catlyn Kirna. Source: ERR

AK also spoke to the parties about their policies.

Reform board member Marko Mihkelson said: "The most important issue in the coming years, in the coming months, will certainly be security. Anything that serves to strengthen Estonia's security in international diplomatic activities is our absolute priority."

Security in terms of both defense and foreign policy is also important to the Center Party, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets said.

"We need to continue to support Ukraine and find solutions for the kind of European security architecture Europe needs in a situation where there is an aggressor state in Europe," she said.

Estonia's EU policy is important to EKRE, said the party's MEP Jaak Madison. He said there must be a principle that anything that harms Estonia can be rejected.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Jonatan Vseviov's visit to Ukraine. January 11-13, 2023. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr

"We will only agree to what is in our interests," he told AK.

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) emphasized Estonia's cyber security advocacy, wants to expand Estonians' visa-free options, and develop the e-residency project.

Isamaa's priority is an international tribunal for the perpetrators of Russia's war in Ukraine. The party also promises continued support for Ukraine and international isolation for Russia.

Eesti 200 wants to strengthen embassies, push for Estonia to become a member of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and increase the capacity of external services to promote Estonia's economic interests.

Parempoolsed call for the dismantling of the Russian Empire with other border countries and more support for Ukraine.

European Union flag. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Greens also highlighted the future for the Catalans, Kurds and Tibet's right to self-determination.

"We turn our attention to other similar regimes, such as China, which represses Tibet, the Uighurs, and also threatens aggression against Taiwan. And secondly everything else in the world like the Kurdish independence struggle," said Marko Kaasik, co-leader of the Green Party.

The election will take place on March 5.

It is likely parties will agree to raise defense spending to 3 percent of GDP after the election

Catlyn Kirna. Source: ERR



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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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