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Diplomat: Cost of the war must be unbearable for Russians

Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jonatan Vseviov in Vilnius.
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jonatan Vseviov in Vilnius. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Countries bordering Russia must "lead the way" in pushing for more sanctions and using frozen Russian assets, the Estonia Ministry of Affairs' Secretary General Jonatan Vseviov said during a visit to Vilnius this week

The official visited Lithuania on January 11-12 to participate in a panel on the future of NATO and the night session on geopolitics at the high-level foreign and security policy forum Snow Meeting.

"Ukraine's future is in NATO but we must take sufficient steps in Washington to make sure this message is received in the Kremlin as well," Vseviov said at the Snow Meeting, and speaking about the upcoming NATO summit this summer.

Additionally, he held several bilateral meetings and discussed regional security, raising the cost of the aggression for Russia, support for Ukraine, and events in the European Union.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jonatan Vseviov visits the Medininkai border crossing point in January 2024. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

During a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Jonas Survila, the pair discussed raising the cost of the war for Russia.

"We must break Putin's theory of victory that time is working in his favour. Border states must lead the way here and, ahead of the second anniversary of the war, push more actively for additional sanctions and using frozen Russian assets," Vseviov said. 

Vseviov also gave a lecture on accountability and upholding the rules-based international order at the European Humanities University, a private Belarusian university in exile that Estonia supports.

The secretary-general made a trip to the Lithuania-Belarus border to see the infrastructure of the Medininkai border crossing point, the work of the Padvarionys coordination center, and the fence constructed on the green line following the start of the hybrid migration crisis in 2021.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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