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Ukraine must join NATO for peace in Europe, Estonia’s PM says during her visit to Ukraine

Kaja Kallas
Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their meeting in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on 24 April 2023. Credit: President’s Office of Ukraine.
Ukraine must join NATO for peace in Europe, Estonia’s PM says during her visit to Ukraine

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas came to Ukraine and met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Zhytomyr, President’s Office reported.

Welcoming the head of the Estonian government to Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Kaja Kallas is “a true leader and defender of our common European freedom.” Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and the entire Estonian people for the sincere and timely support of Ukraine’s defense.

“On a per capita basis, Estonia‘s defense assistance for us is one of the largest in the world.. Ukraine appreciates every piece of weaponry that Estonia has given us. I would especially like to note Estonia’s decision to transfer all of its 122-mm and 155-mm howitzers. I thank Estonia and you personally, Prime Minister, for the initiative on joint European direct procurement of weapons and ammunition, which envisages the provision of one million 155-mm shells to Ukraine by EU members,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine’s President also thanked Estonia for its assistance in the treatment, prosthetics, and rehabilitation of Ukrainian warriors after they were injured on the battlefield. In addition, the President’s Office reported that Estonia has already provided the third military mobile hospital for prompt medical assistance at the front.

Estonia sends artillery ammo to Ukraine in new military aid package

The Estonian Prime Minister emphasized that assistance with weapons, ammunition, and training for the Ukrainian military should continue on a sufficient scale to ensure that Ukraine wins this war.

“We believe in your victory. We believe in a prosperous Ukraine with liberal democracy, a free market economy and a membership in the Euro-Atlantic community. Your struggle, your sacrifices have clearly shown that the way to peace is to eliminate gray areas in European security,” Kaja Kallas said. “For peace in Europe, we need Ukraine in the European Union and in NATO. And this is also the message of the joint declaration we have just signed.” 

During the talks, the interlocutors focused on strengthening Ukraine’s capabilities on the frontline. The parties also discussed political cooperation and Ukraine’s progress towards full membership in the European Union and NATO.

“Today, we discussed our expectations from the NATO Summit in Vilnius. Now is the time when the Alliance needs ambitious decisions. Reliable security in Europe can only be based on full certainty in the relations on NATO’s eastern flank, especially in the relations between Ukraine and NATO. We need a positive political decision of the Alliance on Ukraine’s accession. I am grateful to Estonia for supporting such a strengthening of NATO and for fixing our common goal in the declaration we signed,” Ukraine’s President noted.

Record 82% of Ukrainians want to join NATO, 85% support joining the EU

During the meeting, Kaja Kallas and Volodymyr Zelenskyy also discussed the restoration of Ukraine. According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Estonia became the first country to begin the practical restoration of the Ukrainian region, namely the Zhytomyr Oblast.

Ukraine’s President awarded Kaja Kallas with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, II degree, for outstanding personal merits in strengthening Ukrainian-Estonian interstate cooperation, support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Kaja Kallas and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during their meeting in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, on 24 April 2023.
Credit: President’s Office of Ukraine.

For her part, Kaja Kallas thanked Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the entire Ukrainian people for the recognition. She noted that her first foreign visit to Ukraine as the newly appointed head of the Estonian government symbolizes Estonia’s support for the Ukrainian people.

“As you rightly pointed out, freedom must overcome tyranny. This is our common task and our number one focus,” Estonia’s Prime Minister emphasized.

Kaja Kallas expressed her gratitude for the invitation to visit the Zhytomyr Oblast, which will be Estonia’s focus in reconstruction. The facilities being restored with the help of Estonia include a kindergarten in Ovruch and a number of other social and infrastructure facilities.


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