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Sutt at the Foreign Affairs Council: Russia is preventing food from reaching the people who urgently need it

20. June 2022 - 20:02

Andres Sutt, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and acting Foreign Minister, said in his statement at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg today that Estonia’s positions on Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine remain unchanged. He added that we needed to support Ukraine in fighting disinformation and finding a suitable solution for grain exports.

“Russia must not win this war,” Sutt said. “We must continue providing defence and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and be prepared for a prolonged period of assistance.”

Sutt said the clear recommendation by the European Commission on Friday to give Ukraine EU candidate country status was a historic moment. “Estonia has been and continues to be firm in its support for Ukraine’s European Union integration. Ukraine is fighting for the democratic values of all of Europe and needs our support.”

Estonia has provided defence assistance worth more than €240 million to Ukraine, which is a third of Estonia’s defence budget. Estonia’s humanitarian aid to Ukraine stands at nearly €20 million. One in three people in Estonia have contributed to helping Ukraine. We have admitted more than 43 000 Ukrainian refugees, which is more than 3.2% of our population.

Sutt said the sanctions imposed on Russia must reduce the country’s ability to finance the war and this is why quick progress is needed with additional sanctions. “Finding alternative energy sources to Russian gas and oil is in the interests of Estonia and Europe. Estonia is committed to fighting climate change and as an innovative country, we are interested in developing new technologies that would produce energy from renewable sources.”

Today’s meeting also covered the impact of Russia’s aggression on global food security. “Russia is preventing food from reaching the people who urgently need it. Today we also discussed ways of supporting Ukraine with grain exports without endangering the security of their ports,” Sutt said, emphasising that we needed to continue a fact-based fight against Russia’s false information and false narratives.

The meeting also included discussions on closer cooperation with the Gulf States and the situation on the Horn of Africa. Sutt met with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, discussing cooperation on the climate, energy, migration and security and fighting Russia’s disinformation. “The EU and Egypt will join forces to make sure the UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh this year is a success, and commit to the green transition and the goal to reach climate neutrality by 2050,” Sutt said.

Tomorrow, Sutt attends a meeting of the General Affairs Council, with the agenda focusing on preparations for the European Council on 23-24 June and the recommendation of the European Commission to give Ukraine and Moldova European Union candidate country status and offer a clear EU perspective to Georgia.

Additional information:
Communication Department
[email protected]

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