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Estonian MEP: Ukraine war increasingly coming off as an European affair elsewhere

Marina Kaljurand.
Marina Kaljurand.

MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE) told ETV foreign policy talk show "Välisilm" that international support for Ukraine is becoming fragmented and the rest of the world increasingly sees it as a European problem.

Marina Kaljurand said that tensions in the EU and USA that are holding back Ukraine aid are costing the country dearly. It is beginning to reflect in President Zelenskyy's conduct and statements, she added.

International support for Ukraine is not as united as it was before war broke out in Gaza, Kaljurand remarked.

"Support has remained more or less what it has been. Talking or asking about territorial integrity or sovereignty in the UN today, most are in favor. The problem is created when it comes to the next step – what to do about the aggressor, how do you punish a permanent member of the Security Council that has started a war against an independent country. This is where the willingness to take responsibility falls apart for countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia. It is a problem," the MEP said.

She suggested that the situation in Ukraine is increasingly looking like a European affair, while Gaza captivates the world's attention.

The European Commission released €10 billion in support for Hungary before the European Council meeting. Kaljurand said that the Commission claims the money followed Hungary complying with obligations and that it did not effectively pay Hungary not to block Ukraine's accession talks.

"But looking at the situation and listening to the comments, one is left with a bad feeling. Especially with Hungary or Orban saying that if the EU wants to unfreeze the next Ukrainian aid package, it will have to pay him ever more money. He is drawing those parallels himself, and it really does look unfortunate," Kaljurand said.

The MEP also said that any decision to isolate, sanction or boycott Hungary by the time of the next Council meeting in January is unlikely. "I very much hope EU lawyers are trying to figure out how to take away Hungary's right to decide and postpone their presidency, which is set to begin in the second half of next year. It will be very ugly should Hungary stay its recent course."

Kaljurand said that while Russia sanctions are working, they do not go far enough. There have been differences in the EU regarding every new package of sanctions, while there are always third countries willing to help EU companies bypass them.

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Editor: Barbara Oja, Marcus Turovski

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