On July 5, 2023, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Estonia, Maksym Kononenko, presented his letters of credentials to President Alar Karis, marking an important step in strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries.
During their meeting, Ambassador Kononenko and President Karis engaged in fruitful discussions encompassing several key areas of mutual interest. The topics included the development of political dialogue, fostering economic cooperation, countering Russian aggression against Ukraine, and Estonia's continued assistance in defense matters and post-war recovery efforts. The prosecution of individuals involved in acts of aggression and international crimes committed by Russian invaders on Ukrainian soil was also addressed, along with the importance of safeguarding Ukrainian cultural identity and language as foundational elements of Ukrainian statehood.
President Karis expressed Estonia's unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine in restoring its territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders. He pledged continued assistance in strengthening Ukraine's defense capabilities and emphasized the necessity of imposing additional robust sanctions against the Russian Federation to halt its aggressive military activities. President Karis highlighted Estonia's ongoing efforts in the reconstruction of social and infrastructure facilities damaged by Russian attacks, particularly in the Zhytomyr region. These projects aim to create conditions for the return of displaced Ukrainians and foster future economic recovery in the country.
In response, Ambassador Kononenko expressed gratitude to President Karis for Estonia's steadfast support of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity throughout the ongoing Russian aggression. He acknowledged Estonia's leadership role in implementing President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula and the pursuit of justice. The Ambassador emphasized that for Ukraine, true peace can only be achieved through the complete and final withdrawal of Russian troops, provision of security guarantees, compensation for damages caused by Russian aggression, and holding accountable all those responsible for initiating the war and committing crimes against Ukraine and its people. "There is no peace without justice," stressed Ambassador Kononenko.
The discussions also addressed the alarming threats posed by Russian occupation troops, including dangerous provocations at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the devastating consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovska Hydroelectric Power Plant.
Special attention was devoted to the issue of Ukraine's accession to the European Union and NATO. President Karis reaffirmed Estonia's unwavering support for Ukraine's aspirations and offered to share Estonia's experience on the path to NATO and EU membership. He emphasized that Ukraine's membership in NATO is crucial for strengthening the security of the entire European continent, leaving no alternative.