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Estonian government to discuss joining G7 joint declaration on Ukraine

Estonian and Ukrainian flags (photo is illustrative).
Estonian and Ukrainian flags (photo is illustrative). Source: Stenbock House.

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated the process for Estonia to join the G7's Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine. Estonia's request to join the declaration will be sent to the government cabinet on Thursday.

"With this joint declaration, Estonia reaffirms its unwavering support for Ukraine, which is fighting tirelessly for the security of the whole of Europe," said Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) in a press release.

"We are ready to make long-term security commitments to help Ukraine defend itself, secure a free and democratic future for the country and deter future Russian aggression," he added.

According to Tsahkna, joining the G7 Joint Declaration would confirm that Estonia will stand by Ukraine for as long as necessary and continue to provide support in every way possible. The foreign minister reiterated that Estonia's position of support for Ukraine's accession to both the European Union and NATO remains unchanged.

Estonia will also continue to work towards the establishment of an internationally mandated tribunal to hold the Russian leadership accountable for war crimes and crimes of aggression committed in Ukraine, Tsahkna added.

Shortly after the latest NATO summit in Vilnius this July, the G7 countries issued a joint statement aimed at ensuring continued political, military, financial and economic assistance to Ukraine through bilateral agreements between Ukraine and its partners.

According to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 15 countries have so far signed up to the joint declaration. Those countries are Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, North Macedonia and Latvia. 

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis have suggested that the remaining two Baltic countries could join the declaration together.

Reinsalu: Why the delay?

Former Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) had already questioned the delay in joining the joint declaration in a social media post on August 4.

"I propose to the government, as well as to a number of other countries, to join the G7 security assistance agreement for Ukraine. This will contribute towards the cause of Ukraine's victory and thus our own vital security interests," Reinsalu wrote.

"If in the past we have been a facilitator, engaging other countries in initiatives to support Ukraine, then there is no justification for the current delay," Reinsalu added.

Estonia's commitments will be clarified in talks with Ukraine

The precise content of the commitments to be fulfilled as a result of signing the joint declaration will be determined during talks held with Ukraine. They will take into account both Estonia's capabilities and Ukraine's needs, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

Ukraine, for its part, pledges in the declaration to support the security of its partners and to enhance the transparency of aid operations. It also promises to continue reforms in law enforcement, the judiciary, the fight against corruption, and others that confirm the country's commitment to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and media freedom.

Ukraine has also made pledges to advance its defense reforms and for modernization, including the strengthening of civilian controls over the military.

The G7 is an intergovernmental forum consisting of seven of the world's most advanced economies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada, France and Germany.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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