Today 15 April, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets joined Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis for a visit to Ukraine. The aim of the visit is to show solidarity and express support for Ukraine in light of an escalated military build-up by Russia on the border of Ukraine and on the occupied Crimean peninsula.
“We stand behind Ukraine together: the international community remains determined to contribute to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine’s security is vital for European security,” the foreign minister said.
The packed agenda included meetings with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal , Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna and Minister of Defence Andrii Taran.
The meetings covered the escalation of tensions as a result of Russia’s actions in and around Ukraine. The ministers of the three Baltic States reaffirmed their unwavering support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
They condemned the eight years of destabilising activities of Russia in Eastern Ukraine. The ministers deplored the spread of disinformation and the restriction of the work of OSCE observers and humanitarian workers in the occupied areas of Ukrainian territory. They reiterated that Russia needed to meet its international commitments, including the Minsk agreements, and end the occupation of Crimea.
The ministers recognised Ukraine for continuing reforms, which it is doing essentially in a state of war. “Ukraine’s progress in advancing the rule of law and economy should be praised and must continue to allow the people of Ukraine to live in a stable and democratic society. Successful reforms increase social cohesion, improve the standard of life, reinforce the state and contribute to stability,” the foreign minister said.
The foreign ministers of the four countries signed a joint statement in Kyiv, with Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania affirming their continued close cooperation and determination to stand up together against the aggression of the Russian Federation that threatens security in Europe. The statement notes that Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration considerably reinforces stability and security in Europe, and highlights the need for closer cooperation in defence and security.
Estonia and Ukraine enjoy close cooperation in various fields. Ukraine has been a priority country for Estonia’s development cooperation since 2006. Last year, Estonia supported Ukraine with €2.4 million in development cooperation and humanitarian aid, and this year, the sum is set to €1.9 million. Estonia has allocated more than €18 million in total. For 2020-2023, the budget of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides for €11.6 million for development cooperation and humanitarian aid activities in Ukraine.
The joint statement of the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine in full.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia