President Karis: NATO would not function as well as it does and the EU would be much weaker without Germany
In meeting with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Wednesday, President Alar Karis praised the excellent bilateral relations between Estonia and Germany and said that both were helping Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor. “Germany is dedicated to ensuring the joint security of Europe,” the head of state remarked. “Our meeting today has confirmed that.”
President Karis thanked Germany for its contribution to Baltic air security and to the reinforcement of NATO’s eastern flank. “The German presence on the eastern flank is an example to everyone in the alliance,” he said. “Germany’s importance in guaranteeing security in Europe cannot be overstated. They play a central role in NATO’s collective defence, both on the battlefield and in making all the necessary decisions.”
The Estonian head of state says that NATO would not function as well as it does and that the EU would be much weaker without Germany. “Germany’s courage and decisiveness in guiding Europe’s development and its strong desire to contribute to collective defence are the foundations on which peace in Europe rests,” he remarked. “Risks to European security mean that increased spending on defence is a long-term need for all of us. Europe can only be protected if we invest in our security and steadily boost our defence budgets.”
During the meeting President Karis also praised the close economic ties between Estonia and Germany, as well as German investments in Estonia and the countries’ shared preparedness to diversify their cooperation in the field of environmentally friendly energy solutions. The head of state also singled out the varied, high-level cooperation between Estonia and Germany in the field of culture.
Speaking of assistance for Ukraine in the vicious war being waged by Russia, President Karis highlighted the effective cooperation between Estonia and Germany, a perfect example of which is their donation of field hospitals. “We will continue very decisively to support Ukraine, including militarily, until the aggressor has been forced to retreat and the country’s security has been ensured,” he promised. “We are also willing to share with the Ukrainians our experience on the path to EU and NATO accession if they press ahead with reforms and fulfil the necessary conditions.”
During their meeting the heads of state also discussed how war criminals should be tried, since peace will not be achieved without justice being served.