Foreign Minister Sven Mikser met today in New York with the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin. Ministers discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine, the Ukraine reform process and integration with the EU.
Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised that recent escalation of military activity in eastern Ukraine in Avdiivka is a clear violation of the Minsk agreements. “It is clear that as long as Ukraine’s territorial integrity has not been restored and military action in eastern Ukraine continues, the West must continue pursuing a principled policy including the sanctions imposed on Russia,” he reaffirmed. According to Mikser, one has to be ready for strengthening sanctions if the situation deteriorates.
Mikser reaffirmed to his counterpart that both Estonia and the whole EU stand firmly behind Ukraine. “Ukraine can count on our support - both in standing against Russian aggression as well as in carrying out reforms,“ the Foreign Minister said and added that the last week’s meeting of the EU foreign ministers confirmed the will to continue with the common policy towards Ukraine, to support the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and reform process. “Despite continuing aggression, Ukraine has made progress in reforming the country’s economic, financial and energy sectors,” Foreign Minister Mikser noted and encouraged Ukraine to continue with the reforms.
Ukraine continues to be one of Estonia’s development cooperation focus countries in 2017. In addition, last week Estonia allocated 400,000€ through the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Talking about the EU-Ukraine relations, Mikser said that Estonia supports implementing visa liberation for Ukraine as quickly as possible, and also ratifying and implementing the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Also, foreign ministers discussed the Eastern Partnership which is one of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU.