Having discussed the European security situation with the national Defense Council, President Alar Karis and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas agreed that although Estonia is not facing an immediate military threat, Russia’s threatening behavior towards Ukraine’s and Europe’s security is showing no signs of de-escalation, and said that aggression would result in the EU imposing a full package of sanctions on Russia.
President Karis expressed regret that on the 102nd anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty when we should think about peaceful coexistence of nations, it is necessary to talk about the escalation of tension and threats here in Europe.
“The iron curtain established by the Soviet Union no longer exists. Yet, as we see, their wish to reverse history, established its own rules in Europe at gunpoint, to weaken significantly the unity of the European Union and NATO is still alive,” the president said. Karis added that Russia is becoming ready to attack Ukraine.
Both President Karis and Prime Minister Kallas stated that there is no immediate military threat to Estonia. Contudo, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine would have its impact and Estonia is starting to make preparations for that outcome. This could involve a wave of refugees, cyber security, economic impact or energy security.
Estonia is willing to offer Ukraine various aid. “This is political support which we can provide. It also includes supply of weapons which has been talked about a lot, but there is also know-how we can share with Ukraine, for example concerning cyber-defense,” Kallas provided some examples.
Kallas said that Estonia will agree with the EU member nations about new and very strict sanctions in case Russia should continue its aggression in Ukraine.
“This package of sanctions has been negotiated upon at the technical level. Por exemplo, the US secretary of state said that it an aggression should occur, it will result in the imposing the mother of all sanctions,” Kallas said.
The National Defense Council is an advisory body at the presidential office. It includes the president of the Riigikogu, the prime minister, chairmen of the Riigikogu National Defense Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, the ministers of foreign affairs, defense, financial affairs, the interior, justice, economic affairs and infrastructure and the defense forces commander.