National Defence Committee: Estonia supports Ukraine’s aspirations to join NATO and EU

aFEP_8879-1120x794Today, the members of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) met with the delegation of the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and expressed support to Ukraine’s ambitions to become a member of NATO and the European Union.

“Ukraine’s wish to accede to the European Union and NATO has by now been enshrined also in the Constitution of Ukraine by the Verkhovna Rada, and Estonia definitely supports Ukraine’s desire to integrate with the Western world,” Chairman of the National Defence Committee Hannes Hanso said.

The current security policy situation and the possible ways for resolving the state of affairs in Ukraine were also discussed at the meeting. “Estonia will never recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, and continues to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Hanso said.

Hanso emphasized that Russia’s long-time aggression in the Sea of Azov was a cause of special concern. “It contradicts both international law and the essence of good-neighborly relations. In December, the Riigikogu adopted the Statement which expresses support to Ukraine’s inalienable right to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty.”

Member of the National Defence Committee Ants Laaneots said that at the same time with waging a war in the East, Ukraine was making efforts to carry out extensive reforms and to approach the European Union and NATO. Laaneots added that, within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, Estonia supported Ukraine in continuing with the reforms and by giving advice and assistance in the development of e-governance. “Estonia has received much help from its allies and friends in building up its defence forces, and we know how important such help is to the Ukrainians.”

Chairman of the Estonia-Ukraine Parliamentary Group Johannes Kert admitted that meetings with the Committee on National Security and Defence of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine had become a tradition. “Today we spoke of the bilateral relations between Estonia and Ukraine in the national defence sector. We both found that our cooperation had been fruitful and should continue in at least the same extent,” he said. He added that Ukraine acknowledged Estonia as one of their most active supporters and that Estonia was grateful to Ukraine because the members of our defence forces could acquire priceless experience and knowledge there.

The topics relating to the parliamentary elections in Ukraine were also discussed at the meeting, and information was exchanged about Russia’s influence activities and hybrid warfare tactics. In addition to that, the members of the National Defence Committee gave an overview of Estonia’s national defence system and spoke of territorial defence, conscription, and the Defence League.

photo Autor: Erik Peinar

Krishan Chand

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