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Estonia to press for further pressure on Russia at top-level EU meeting

The Stenbock House, seat of the Estonian government, lit up in the colors of the EU flag.
The Stenbock House, seat of the Estonian government, lit up in the colors of the EU flag. Source: Government Office.

Estonia's priorities ahead of a meeting of European Union heads of state and government are to continue to raise the stakes for Russia as it prosecutes its war on Ukraine.

Joint procurement of ammunition, boosting Europe's defense industry and other ways of helping Ukraine are also vital.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, a former MEP, is representing Estonia at the European Council meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday, a meeting set to focus on helping Ukraine and boosting economic competitiveness.

Estonia also finds it key to move forward with mitigating attempts by the Russian regime and its supporters to circumvent sanctions put in place following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, now in its second year.

Equally, holding the Russian regime accountable following last week's arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is important to stick to, the Estonian government says.

Estonia also supports responsible and sustainable budgetary policies within the EU, relevant to Friday's Euro Summit, which is set to feature discussions on economic issues, in particular inflation, economic policy, and budgetary rules.

The overall meeting agenda includes means to boost EU competitiveness, with its internal market as the bedrock of this.

Reducing bureaucracy, including via the smart use of digital tools and a "once only" reporting principle will help European businesses become more competitive, Estonia argues.

Improvements in the telecoms, transportation and energy sectors are a particular focus for Estonia, as is promoting the data economy, and ensuring better access to capital for small- to medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups, in order to support technological innovation.

EU heads of state and government attending the Brussels summit will also revisit the energy sector topic, in preparation for the next winter and the need for security of supply and manageable prices, as Russia continues to use energy as a weapon as a means of putting the screws on western Europe.

Structural changes to the electricity market are on the table in relation to this; Estonia supports solutions which will expedite renewables market penetration and which will manage consumption better.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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