Riigikogu members to draw up statement in support of Ukraine ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

At a sitting of the Riigikogu.
At a sitting of the Riigikogu. Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu kantselei

The foreign affairs and national defence committees of the Riigikogu discussed the situation in Ukraine at an extraordinary meeting on Monday and expressed strong protest over the actions taken by Russia against Ukrainian Navy vessels in the Kerch Strait.

The members of the Riigikogu will work out a motion for a statement which they want to adopt before the end of the week, the parliament's press service reported on Monday evening.

The statement is intended to express Estonia's support for Ukraine's right to protect its territorial integrity and its sovereignty.

Chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Marko Mihkelson (independent), said that with its aggression against Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait on Sunday, Russia is testing the unity and speed of response of the West.

"Russia has expanded its military aggression against Ukraine, this time at sea," Mihkelson said. "The Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait behaved in accordance with all international agreements and rules of navigation."

He added that what makes Sunday's incident stand out is that for once Russia has acted under its own flag instead of hiding behind supposed rebel or unidentified forces.

"Ukraine has turned to its allies and partners, urging them to take all necessary measures to hold back the aggressor. Suitable ways for doing it are through imposing new sanctions or by strengthening the existing ones, but also providing additional military and technological assistance to Ukraine," Mihkelson added.

The two standing committees in their joint sitting heard overviews of the situation in Ukraine provided by officials of the ministries of foreign affairs and defence. The Estonian ambassador to Ukraine, Gert Antsu, took part in the meeting via video link.

The committees found that Russia is fully responsible for any further escalation of the situation in the Azov Sea and the Black Sea regions. Members of the committees also said that through its actions, Russia is undermining the possibility to find a peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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