On July 7, 2023, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Estonia, Maksym Kononenko, met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, Kaja Kallas
The focus of the meeting was on intensifying the Ukrainian-Estonian political dialogue and comprehensive assistance from Estonia to our country in the fight against ongoing full-scale Russian aggression, holding accountable individuals involved in the crime of aggression and other international crimes committed by Russian occupiers on Ukrainian territory, supporting our state on the path to European and Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as the situation of internally displaced persons from Ukraine who have found refuge in Estonia from the horrors of war.
The parties agreed on the importance of further developing fruitful political dialogue, including at the highest level. Ambassador of Ukraine Maksym Kononenko expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister of Estonia for unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and comprehensive assistance to our country in the fight against full-scale Russian aggression. In this context, the parties particularly emphasized the importance of holding accountable individuals involved in the crime of aggression and other international crimes committed by occupiers on Ukrainian territory. The Prime Minister of Estonia emphasized that Russian aggression against Ukraine became possible because Russia did not face punishment for previous attacks on its neighbors, did not repent for its aggressive chauvinism and imperialist ideology. To prevent this horrific history from repeating itself, Russia must lose this war, and its leadership must stand trial before a Special Tribunal that will provide legal assessment of its criminal policies. She stressed that Estonia knows all too well how Russians can erase the statehood, language, and culture of others and will do everything possible to prevent it from happening again.
Special attention was given to the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU and NATO. Ambassador of Ukraine Maksym Kononenko emphasized that Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance would contribute to the formation of a new, strong security architecture in Europe. He underscored that Ukraine is ready for this step: the government is implementing necessary reforms, the Armed Forces of Ukraine are formed and equipped according to NATO standards, they are interoperable with Alliance forces, they have unique combat experience and apply it in practice, securing the eastern flank of NATO. According to the Ambassador, Ukraine needs not only a clear political signal, an invitation to membership, but also a clear algorithm for its implementation. The Ambassador emphasized that Ukraine’s accession to NATO is the only option, as the policy of “gray zones” has proven ineffective and essentially led to a full-scale war in the heart of Europe. In this context, Kaja Kallas stated that Estonia consistently supports Ukraine’s rapid accession to the Alliance and that in Vilnius, the allies should propose specific steps for Ukraine on the path to NATO membership.
During the discussion on the prospects of Ukraine’s European integration, Maksym Kononenko emphasized that as a candidate country, Ukraine is successfully fulfilling its “homework” and hopes to start accession negotiations with the EU by the end of this year. The negotiations on accession are a powerful tool for further implementation of necessary reforms in Ukraine. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasized the unwavering support for Ukraine on its path to NATO and the EU, readiness to share Estonian experience in this field, and assistance to our country in implementing reforms necessary for successful fulfillment of criteria for membership in European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
The Ambassador of Ukraine expressed gratitude for the comprehensive assistance provided by the Estonian government to the displaced persons from Ukraine. The Prime Minister of Estonia acknowledged their high adaptability and industriousness, thanked them for their contribution to the development of the Estonian economy, and encouraged the displaced persons from Ukraine to actively learn the Estonian language to facilitate the resolution of issues related to their social needs.