Today 24 September, the Government of Estonia decided to allocate €100 000 from the reserve to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the civil society and free press in Belarus and provide psychological support to the victims of the regime’s violence. Another €110 000 is allocated for the purchase and transport of personal protective equipment to the U.S. state of Maryland, a long-time security and defence partner of Estonia, and €50 000 is earmarked for Greece to provide local assistance to the refugees of the Moria camp who are currently without shelter.
According to Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu, this aid demonstrates that Estonia is a responsible and principled international partner.
Estonia will provide €100 000 to support the civil society in Belarus. Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that supporting the people of Belarus remained a priority. “When peaceful protesters have fallen victim to a violent response and the civil society is under considerable pressure from the authorities, it is our task to offer every support to the sustainability of democratic processes and keep the attention of the international community on the events in Belarus,” Reinsalu said.
The funds will go towards supporting the free press, online activists, the diaspora conference, and the rehabilitation programme for women and others who have suffered from the violence of the regime and need psychological counselling.
The government also decided to allocated €110 000 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the purchase and transport of personal protective equipment to the United States to help the state of Maryland fight the coronavirus. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the state is in need of personal protective equipment, specifically N95 (NIOSH-Approved) masks.
“Estonia supports its friends through thick and thin. We enjoy a long and close friendship and cooperation with Maryland. The cooperation that began after the restoration of independence initially focused on security and defence but it has become increasingly close over the years and expanded into other areas,” Reinsalu explained.
According to Reinsalu, our long-term partners greatly value this kind of show of solidarity. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Estonia has also supported Spain, Italy and Eastern Partnership countries with personal protective equipment and disinfectants.
Today the government also decided to allocate €50 000 to alleviate the situation of refugees in the Moria camp in Greece based on local needs.
On 8 and 9 september, the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was destroyed as a result of arson. Around 11 500 people are without shelter due to the fire. Moria, the largest refugee camp in Europe, was established in October 2015 as a centre for processing asylum applications. After the blaze, Greece appealed to EU member states for help.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia