Estonian PM: Let’s not give in to Russia’s demands to change the basic principles of European security, talks cannot take place at the end of the barrel

Europe will not give in to Russia’s demands to change its fundamental security principles, and no talks are possible “at the end of the barrel”, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasized in a political statement in the Estonian parliament on Wednesday.

“Moscow has made its demands, confirmed what it wants,” she said. “We will not give in to Russia’s demands for a change in the basic principles of European security. Negotiations cannot take place at the end of the barrel. in a strong and united voice. “

As the Prime Minister has said, the choice must now be made by Moscow.

“Unfortunately, there is no indication that it is going to ease tensions. It is clear that we must be prepared for Russia to continue to escalate and expand its military aggression against Ukraine,” she said.

“In view of Estonia ‘s geographical location and the fact that [Krievijas] If the demands are on us too, we need to address the vital issues that will be at the heart of our security and foreign policy this year. We must act wisely and decisively, “Callas emphasized.

According to her, the Estonian government has set itself four courses of action in this regard.

“First, we continue to work to maintain a clear common direction in the Alliance through regular contacts with the Allies. We can engage in dialogue with Russia, but we will not support any agreement that would negatively affect Estonia’s security or undermine NATO’s collective defense,” he said.

“Secondly, we fully support Ukraine. The European Union, in cooperation with the United States, is developing a strong package of sanctions in the event of Russia stepping up military action in Ukraine. In addition to diplomatic and political support, Ukrainians need practical support to protect their country. We are working with allies and partners. “To help Ukraine in terms of armaments. In cooperation with Germany, we will help Ukraine with a field hospital manufactured by an Estonian company. We have also offered Ukraine support after the recent cyber attacks,” she said.

“Third, we need to accelerate the strengthening of NATO’s eastern flank protection and containment capabilities. We want both more high-readiness forces and plans to deploy them already in training,” Kallas said, adding that the need for collective defense is now greater than ever and must not err in terms of protection and restraint.

Fourthly, Estonia must also increase its own contribution to security, and the Prime Minister must do so without delay.

“We have talked a lot about our long-term national defense development plans, but in the current security situation, we need to speed up the implementation of these plans and immediately increase security spending. “No, we cannot afford to take risks in this situation – by demanding a greater contribution from the Allies to collective defense, we must also become more active ourselves,” she concluded.

Kallasa recalled that he had instructed government ministers to develop concrete proposals on how to speed up the implementation of the national defense plan, and these proposals were discussed at a government meeting on Tuesday.

The government has reportedly agreed in principle to increase military spending by € 380 million in the coming years in order to respond more quickly and effectively to military threats and hybrid threats. The additional funds to be allocated for defense will increase the ability of the Estonian Defense Forces to respond to the challenges, and a significant part of this funding will be used to provide the necessary resources, including the purchase of ammunition, the Prime Minister said.

She added that large sums would be spent on non-military methods of defense, including increasing the Ministry of the Interior’s ability to detect and respond quickly to threats, strengthening border guards and civil protection, and developing technical solutions for secure communications.

The Head of Government has emphasized that her support for the increase of defense funding is very important to her.

Speaking about the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine’s borders, as well as the ultimate demands that Moscow has made on the West, Kallas has warned that NATO must beware of traps, as even a small concession could prove dangerous.

“We are already being asked what NATO or the West can offer to de-escalate the situation. It is extortion. NATO has not caused this situation. NATO does not intend to attack anyone, NATO does not threaten anyone. Even a small concession to the organization of European security would give Russia what We have found ourselves in this situation because Russia has been using force for a long time and threatening to use force – in 2008 it attacked Georgia, since the occupation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, Russia has also launched hybrid attacks against the West, trying to disrupt “She pointed out that Russia was also using an effective tool to destabilize European societies, such as the price of natural gas.

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