FM to Riigikogu: Ending Russian aggression key Estonian foreign policy task

Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200).
Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia's goal is maximum damage to Russia via sanctions and isolation, and its foreign policy must ensure, together with its allies and partners, that Russia ends its aggression in Ukraine and pays, Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) said in a political statement to the Riigikogu on Thursday.

The main task of Estonia's foreign policy is to ensure together with its allies and partners that Russia ends its aggression in Ukraine and compensates the damage it has caused, Tsahkna said according to a press release.

To meet this objective, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is concentrating on three major policies: raising the cost of this aggression; supporting Ukraine; and combating impunity.

"Estonia's message is unequivocal: our goal is to cause maximum damage to the aggressor state by using sanctions and comprehensive isolation," he emphasized.

For this purpose, the Foreign Ministry is drawing up a proposal for additional sanctions in the coming weeks, and will thereafter seek the support of the EU. Furthermore, the ministry is also set to introduce a pioneering bill for Europe to the government that would grant Estonia and, setting a precedent, Europe a legal mechanism for tapping Russia's frozen assets for reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

Addressing all business-owners, Tsahkna stressed that any business with Russia helps the aggressor in its war and is therefore unconditionally unacceptable. "Stop this type of business," he urged.

Full support to Ukraine remains an important policy for Estonia, and the latter is calling on all countries worldwide to provide Ukraine with the equipment they need in battle, and to do so much faster than it otherwise has to date.

Estonia is likewise convinced that those who have committed evil acts must be justly punished — which is why it fully supports the investigation of war crimes and holding perpetrators accountable, as well as the creation of a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression.

Touching on EU and NATO enlargement, the foreign minister underlined that Estonia clearly and firmly supports Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic ambitions.

Tsahkna thanked the Riigikogu for its unity and unanimity in making foreign policy decisions, and said he hopes that going forward too, domestic political conflicts will be put aside when dealing with foreign policy matters.

"When it comes to existential security issues, we speak confidently with one voice in the world, leaving domestic competition between political parties at home," he said in recognition of Estonia's parliament.

The minister reiterated that Russia's aggression in Ukraine has put so much more than just Ukraine's own future at stake.

"If the international norm by the end of the war is that an aggressive major power can use weapons to destroy its smaller neighbors, redraw their borders and cancel entire nations, then the international law-based order is categorically over, and brutal power politics with all that entails have returned," he stressed.

"Therefore, for Estonia, no less than our existential security interests are at stake in this war," he added.

Click here to read the foreign minister's statement to the Riigikogu in full.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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