Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusolgu visited Estonia on Wednesday, where he met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) and President Alar Karis. At their meetings, both Estonian leaders urged Turkey to approve Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO.
The two foreign ministers' talks Wednesday focused primarily on Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine, security in Europe as well as closer bilateral relations, according to a press release.
At his meeting with Cavusoglu, Reinsalu stressed Turkey's importance as a partner for Estonia and an ally in NATO, as well as recognized Turkey for its contributions to the fight against terrorism, according to a press release. He also underlined the importance of continued cooperation in this area.
"The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is in the alliance's strategic interests and in the vital interests of our region," he stressed, calling on member state Turkey to ratify the two countries' accession to the alliance.
Estonia was among the first countries to ratify its two neighbors' accession last year.
I welcomed @MevlutCavusoglu . We discussed - coop. & I commended efforts in the fight against terrorism.— Urmas Reinsalu (@UrmasReinsalu) February 1, 2023
I emphasized we must raise the cost of aggression to Russia & increase aid to #Ukraine .
I expressed hope that will soon be able to ratify -@NATO accession. pic.twitter.com/MpDuVVHgiz
Discussing Russia's ongoing full-scale war in Ukraine, Reinsalu said that we must continue raising the cost of the war for Russia and called on all NATO members to increase their military assistance to Ukraine to 1 percent GDP.
"Estonia has decided to send its largest military aid package yet to Ukraine, raising the total assistance provided by Estonia to €370 million, or more than 1 percent of our GDP," he highlighted, and noted that in just three weeks, it will be one year since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"Russia must answer for its crimes of aggression in Ukraine, and we must continue isolating Russia internally until it ends this war," the Estonian minister continued, and explained to his Turkish counterpart why Estonia considers it crucial to lower the oil price cap set early last December. "2023 must become the year of Ukraine's victory."
With @UrmasReinsalu, FM of #Estonia, discussed our cooperation in economy, education, tourism, defense industry & counter-terrorism. Our trade volume goal is $ 1 billion. #NATO enlargement & developments in #Ukraine, #Caucasus & #Syria were on our agenda. pic.twitter.com/qsRgYyTXrr— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) February 1, 2023
The Estonian and Turkish foreign ministers also held a joint press conference on Wednesday, which can be watched online in full here.
Karis also urges NATO accession approval
While in Tallinn, Cavusoglu met with President Alar Karis in Kadriorg as well.
"As NATO allies, Estonia and Turkey understand each other's security concerns, and our common goal is European security," Karis said at their meeting according to a press release.
"Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO will strengthen the security of the Baltic Sea region and NATO's deterrence and defense posture on the alliance's eastern flank, which is very important to us as well as NATO's resilience as a whole," he stressed, echoing Reinsalu's earlier comments.
Welcome, FM of Türkiye @MevlutCavusoglu! Focused on security concerns, Russia's war against Ukraine. As Allies, safeguarding the freedom & security of all NATO´s members 360-degrees is important for both. I am certain: & joining NATO will strengthen our security as a whole. pic.twitter.com/RZdeNIWViN— Alar Karis (@AlarKaris) February 1, 2023
Cavusoglu and the Estonian president likewise focused on Russia's war in Ukraine as well as security issues in both the Baltic Sea and Black Sea regions.
"Russia's aggression poses an existential threat to the security of all of Europe," Karis said. "The war must end with the liberation of Ukrainian territory."
They also discussed at further length the international agreement under which Ukraine can export grain from its Black Sea ports, among other topics.
Cavusoglu provided the Estonian head of state with an overview of how Turkey is coping with the world's biggest flow of refugees, the majority of whom have arrived from Syria.
Wednesday marked Cavusoglu's fourth visit to Estonia; his latest previous visit was to Tallinn in 2019.
Editor: Aili Vahtla