Prime minister: Germany key in defense of Ukraine and all Europe

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas with Stephan Weil, Minister-President of Lower Saxony, in Tallinn, Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas with Stephan Weil, Minister-President of Lower Saxony, in Tallinn, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. Source: Jürgen Randma/Government Office

Germany is a vital country in regional security and in resolving the war in Ukraine in a way that the latter will emerge victorious, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

"We recognize Germany's commitment to Estonia and to our region more broadly, including securing the security of our region via the Baltic Air Policing Mission and participation in the NATO battle group," the prime minister said Wednesday.

Germany recently held the air policing mission based at Ämari, while the NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based in Lithuania, is German-led.

The prime minister made her comments after a meeting with on Wednesday with Stephan Weil, Minister-President of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), who was in Tallinn on an official visit, ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit later in the week.

Kallas stressed the need for Europe's defense industry to be utilized to a much larger scale than it has been up to now, both in order to support Ukraine and in the interests of Europe's own security.

As the largest EU nation Germany is key here, while Lower Saxony itself is home to one of German automotive and arms manufacturer Rheinmetall's most important production sites, the prime minister noted.

Kallas also called for support from Germany, and its constituent Länder, not to mention all of Europe, in accepting refugees from Ukraine.

"Supporting Ukraine is currently the most important task for all of Europe. The joint effort of all of us will help Ukraine win," she added, via a government office press release.

The pair also discussed energy cooperation and independence, and climate neutrality, while Kallas noted the significance of Lower Saxony in being a leading producer of wind turbine-generated electricity.

Bilateral and business contacts were also discussed at the Kallas-Weil meeting, not least since Lower Sxony, population 8 million, is one of the key economic regions of Germany; Weil was accompanied on his trip by a 60-member business delegation.

"We are very open to finding cooperation opportunities, for example, in the field of e-governance, including e-health," Prime Minister Kallas added.

Wednesday's meeting was but part of a busy week in Estonian-German relations, Kallas added. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is on an official visit to Tallinn this Friday.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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