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Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus in parliament: Implementing what has been agreed is of decisive importance in solving the Ukraine conflict

14.02.2015

In her foreign policy address to the Riigikogu today, when speaking of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and solving the conflict, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus underlined the importance for Ukraine of continued international support, both in terms of its territorial integrity and for implementing reforms.

According to Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, in order to resolve the Ukrainian conflict, political efforts need to continue, as well as constant pressure in the form of sanctions. “Russian aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of the fundamental principles of international relations and international law, which has now resulted in 5,000 casualties. Diplomatic efforts for attaining peace are worthy of recognition, but as previous experiences confirm, implementing what has been agreed, is of decisive importance,” the foreign minister said. “There can be no talk of lessening the European Union's sanctions regime, until real and tangible results have been achieved – transporting Russian armaments and military personnel out of Ukraine and restoring Ukraine’s control over its borders and territory,” the foreign minister emphasized. She added that until there is no such outcome, sanctions must remain in place and preparations for extending them are also underway, as per the European Union foreign ministers’ decision of a week ago.

On the subject of assisting Ukraine and supporting the country’s reforms, Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus confirmed Estonia’s ongoing support. Estonia's assistance to Ukraine in the past year was one million euros and this year due to the worsening situation in Ukraine, Estonia will provide 2.35 million euros worth of aid. “In order to help alleviate the situation of internally displaced persons, we contributed through UN agencies, we also helped those who suffered injuries in both the Kyiv protests and hostilities in eastern Ukraine, and have also delivered food aid to Ukraine. In the area of reforms, we are helping with the implementation of the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement and e-government to ensure the development of greater openness and transparency,” the foreign minister said. “Ukrainians themselves must vigorously implement reforms, fight against corruption and strengthen democracy and the rule of law with similar vigour,” Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus said, emphasizing that reforms are an unavoidable prerequisite for Ukraine to truly gain strength. The foreign minister added that Ukraine’s economy needs urgent assistance.

The foreign minister also stressed the importance of the continued presence of international observers in eastern Ukraine under the auspices of the OSCE and support for the European Union civilian mission in Ukraine, which Estonian experts are also members of.

On the topic of Russia's aggression, Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus noted that the European Union, whose main idea and goal since its inception has been to uphold peace in Europe, must maintain the direction of its activities until peace is restored. "We have not wanted the isolation of Russia, rather Russia has isolated itself from the greater European security architecture and turned this into a threatening factor. A regime which sponsors the killing of civilians and annexes territories cannot be a partner," Pentus-Rosimannus noted. "Regrettably, Russia is continuing with hostile actions which break international law – the abduction of security police officer Mr Eston Kohver from Estonian territory and his unlawful detention in Russia and airspace violations in Estonia and other Nordic countries by Russian military planes not using transponders," the foreign minister highlighted.

Pentus-Rosimannus stressed that despite increased tension, Estonia, as a member of NATO and the European Union is protected from external military threats. "The response and strengthening of NATO and the European Union in response to recent events have been necessary, prompt and appropriate. As was defined at the NATO summit in Wales, the Alliance's strengthened presence in the region is the Alliance's new state of affairs. The presence of Allied forces and the increase of the capabilities of the Alliance have already increased the security of our region, including that of Estonia," Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus said. She added that the changed situation and developments brings along a need to renew the Estonian foreign and security policy guidance documents which will be the task of the new government and the Riigikogu.

PRESS DEPARTMENT
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