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Minister: Major international institutions need reform in face of Russian aggression

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) speaking to Britain's foreign secretary, David Cameron, in London earlier this month.
Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) speaking to Britain's foreign secretary, David Cameron, in London earlier this month. Source: Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street

International institutions are in need of significant change, in order to rectify their apparent powerlessness in the face of Russia's aggression in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) writes, in an opinion piece for British daily The Guardian.

In the article, which published Wednesday, Tsahnka writes that: "Russia's ongoing and barbaric war of aggression against Ukraine did not just break the system. It exploited some of its many flaws to degrade its apparently unenforceable norms and values."

"If that continues, we will all eventually lose interest in saving the system," he goes on, noting that should trust in the currently powerless international system not be restored, the world is likely to return to an era of "age of empires" characterized by a "might is right" attitude.

"International institutions now too often seem powerless, at best, to deal with the most serious challenges of our time. At worst, they are complicit in enabling them. With confidence rapidly fading, the entire system risks collapse. That would mean the return to an age of empires in which "might makes right", and everyone suffers," he continued.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has highlighted flaws in the system that risk fatally undermining public faith in institutions, such as the UN Security Council, which should add more, new "permanent members, to better reflect our modern world" and address the issue of the abuse of veto.

The Guardian reports that Estonia has been seen as a thought, and action, leader within the EU throughout the Ukraine war, in a manner which far outweighs the country's size.

Tsahkna concedes that consensus on the need for reform, and on the nature of those reforms, will not be easy, but is nevertheless essential.

The original Guardian article is here.

In a longer piece which also published on The Guardian's website on Wednesday, the minister expounds at greater length on the above themes, also addressing the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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