Foreign Minister Reinsalu in his annual foreign policy speech: Estonia’s foreign policy focuses on Ukraine’s victory and Russia’s defeat

On 14th of February, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu gave the annual speech on Estonia’s foreign policy at the Riigikogu, outlining the main foreign policy measures of Estonia. The minister concentrated on the need to continue offering comprehensive assistance to Ukraine and isolating Russia.

Reinsalu said Estonia had provided Ukraine with extensive weapons assistance – ranging from Javelins to armoured vehicles. “We have provided large calibre and modern weapons. Providing weapons is central and Estonia has been very visible in this regard. Estonia’s military aid to Ukraine has reached 1% of Estonia’s GDP. As early as last November, I called on NATO Allies to follow Estonia’s example and I will continue to do so. We must support Ukraine with heavy weaponry. This includes fighter aircraft,” the minister said.

He called on like-minded countries to agree on the issue of frozen assets. “Europe is currently looking for legal options for using frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine and rebuild it. Estonia is creating its own financial instrument that allows it to use these assets for the benefit of Ukraine.”

Reinsalu also underlined that Russia’s political and military leadership that has launched a war of aggression against Ukraine must be brought to justice, including Putin himself. “We are supporting Ukraine’s efforts to establish a trans-regional international special tribunal. The first step is opening an office of a temporary prosecutor in The Hague, which would be in charge of collecting and preserving evidence of crimes of aggression,” he said.

Since Russia started its full-scale war against Ukraine, Estonia and the European Union have continued to impose sanctions against Russia. “The next sanctions package must further damage Russia’s economy. We must also review the crude oil price cap in March to further reduce Russia’s revenue,” the minister said. Reinsalu added that we must jointly restrict the entry of Russian citizens to the EU and stop their ownership of assets in the EU.

Reinsalu said that Ukraine should start accession talks with the European Union this year, and just as Ukraine will become a member of the European Union, it must also join NATO.

The foreign minister also stressed that Finland and Sweden joining the Alliance will significantly reinforce the defence of NATO territory. “This step is crucial for not just the defence of the Baltic Sea region but the security of all of Europe and the cohesion of NATO,” the minister said.

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