Incoming foreign minister: Supporting Ukraine to remain Estonia's priority

Margus Tsahkna.
Margus Tsahkna. Source: Raigo Pajula/Office of the President

Estonia's foreign minister candidate Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said that he plans to continue the previous government's policy of supporting Ukraine. He also promised to pay more attention to promoting Estonia's foreign policy interests.

"Estonia has maintained consensus regarding its foreign policy goals, and I would extend my thanks to all previous foreign ministers. I will maintain that same line because there's no way around it – the Ukraine war has changed the world for good, and it is Estonia's task to make sure our allies and the West do not grow tired," Tsahkna told ERR on Tuesday.

Tsahkna also had praise for his predecessor. "Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has been a very capable foreign minister, and he and PM Kaja Kallas (Reform) have really put their foot down. We simply need to realize that Ukraine is fighting for our freedom today, and security experts agree that should this war fade into obscurity or end unfairly, Putin could be knocking on our door a few years from now."

"In other words, we are joining the Ukrainians in the struggle for our existence. There isn't really anything to add, we just need to stay on this path," Tsahkna emphasized.

Foreign economic policy to be promoted

Second, Tsahkna pointed to representing Estonia's economic interests abroad. "Another one of my tasks will be making the Estonian economy bigger, [promoting] Estonia's economic interests abroad. Making Estonian companies global. Steps have been taken, while we have more detailed plans for helping Estonian companies go international."

This also ties into support for Ukraine. "We must actively look at plans for rebuilding Ukraine. There is considerable potential for Estonia there, the country can serve as a transparent and honest procurement environment and our entrepreneurs can surely participate in rebuilding Ukraine."

The incoming foreign minister also said that while he generally supports the EU foreign policy's unanimity principle, the bloc could consider a consensus minus one policy, which could help avoid situation where a single member is holding back decisions.

The government of the Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) will likely take office on Monday, April 17.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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