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President Kaljulaid discusses fight against COVID and local developments with Ukrainian counterpart

31.03.2021

In a call today with her Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, President Kersti Kaljulaid discussed the fight against coronavirus, the international security situation and the course of reforms in Ukraine.

“We support Ukraine’s ambitions in regard to both the European Union and NATO in every way,” the head of state remarked after the phone call. “Ukraine is very much a part of the European family. We support the efforts the country is going to and are working with our partners and allies to achieve consensus on that front.”

During the call, President Kaljulaid thanked President Zelensky for the readiness expressed by Ukraine just a few weeks ago to help Estonia, should it need it, by providing medical personnel to alleviate the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

The heads of state discussed the crisis at length during their hour-long call, including progress with vaccinations in both of their countries. “All of us in the European Union have to work together in this fight to help our eastern partners as well, Ukraine among them,” President Kaljulaid told President Zelensky, adding that she had raised the issue at her recent meeting with EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. Estonia is also contributing financially via the EU Covax mechanism to the better availability of vaccines around the world, including in Eastern Partnership states.

President Kaljulaid also emphasised the continuing need to keep the attention of NATO allies and the European Union focussed on what is happening in Eastern Ukraine and on the Crimean peninsula. “Those areas remain occupied, and war is ongoing,” she noted. “The Normandy Format talks have ground to a halt and the Minsk Protocol is having next to no effect. We cannot accept that. As an international community we must continue to do everything we can to bring an end to the occupation. Now in particular, with the Russian Federation planning its major military exercise Zapad, we have to keep a very close eye on unfolding events in Ukraine and along its borders.”

The heads of state also talked about continued cooperation between their two countries in the digital field, with President Kaljulaid recognising her Ukrainian counterpart for the rapid developments in establishing the e-state and digital ID in his country. Other key reforms being undertaken in Ukraine were also discussed during the conversation.

President Zelensky invited his Estonian counterpart to make a working visit to Kyiv in late August so as to take part in the Crimean Platform Summit, which President Kaljulaid accepted.

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