President Karis in a meeting with President Zelenskyy: if all allies do more, we will win the war
Dear Volodymyr, journalists, and colleagues.
We just shared a very warm and good meeting with our Ukrainian friends. And here, I emphasize the word “friends”. We have stood resolutely side-by-side as Ukrainians fight a war of defense against Russia’s aggression.
This morning, I signed a presidential resolution to symbolically bestow Estonia’s highest military service decoraation: the Order of the Cross of the Eagle, First Class, With Swords, for the soldier of Ukraine in their struggle for the freedom of Ukraine and of us all.
In this brutal war that Russia began, we are all each other’s allies fighting for freedom on a great battlefield. For by attacking Ukraine, Russia attacks all democratic states.
This war is nothing that can be gotten used to, and it will not go away on its own. The solution – the aggressor’s withdrawal – requires the joint efforts of all democratic countries.
All of Russia’s chances in this war are based on a hope that our allies’ common front will crumble, and Ukrainians will be left alone. I can affirm that we are doing everything we can to prevent this from happening.
The war must end with victory for Ukraine, and by working together, we will certainly triumph. The outcome of this war instigated by Russia will show the strength of democratic countries and their trustworthiness as allies. This depends on our allies’ ability to maintain solidarity and guarantee continued support for Ukraine. We must jointly persist in our efforts to weaken the aggressor through sanctions and ensure they cannot be dodged. The aggressor must also be isolated politically.
Within the European Union, we have jointly supported Ukraine with nearly 85 billion euros, and that support must continue. Estonia’s long-term contribution from the beginning of this full-scare war to the year 2027 will total 1.2 billion euros.
Ukraine needs more and better weapons. Europe must boost its military production so that Ukraine gets what it needs and not tomorrow, but today. Our firm actions must prevent any further wars of aggression in Europe.
Estonia will continue supporting Ukraine for as long as the war lasts. We have joined a G7 initiative to ensure lasting Ukrainian aid through bilateral agreements.
We have made it our obligation to contribute 0.25% of our GDP towards military support for Ukraine over the period 2024–2027. We encourage all who donate to Ukraine to continue giving at least as much every year until Russia has stopped its war.
When providing military support, we must realize that in war, one cannot avoid attacking the aggressor’s military targets; that the enemy’s forces must be slowed and weakened; and that the Ukrainian people must be defended. We should place no restrictions on the weapons that we provide to Ukraine.
We have specific plans for rebuilding Ukraine over the coming years. It is fair to use the aggressor’s frozen assets towards this as well. With our Allies, we are currently discussing with our allies proposals for how this can be done. It is our conviction that the aggressor must pay the bill for reconstruction.
Estonia’s goal is to welcome Ukraine as a member of the European Union and NATO. We will walk this path together.
For Estonia, the Ukrainian Peace Plan is the only way to achieve a peace that honors the principles of the UN Charter, and we are actively working towards its achievement. We will not rest until the children who were deported from Ukraine are back home and the war criminals have been held responsible.
The world will not become any safer in the near future. Our appeal to every European country is the same: we must contribute significantly more towards defense, as Russia and other authoritarian regimes threaten our common values and security. Russia does not only wish to conquer Ukraine. Along with other dictators, it has issued a challenge to the entire democratic world. By using weapons acquired from North Korea and other state actors, Putin is also fighting for them. Therefore, we must work to counter these dangers together, standing shoulder to shoulder. For this, Europe must become powerful militarily. Europe’s lasting peace requires long-term investment in our defense capabilities.
We must demonstrate that our ideals – democracy and freedom – are stronger and more enduring.
Together, we will achieve victory and peace.