Estonia's Prime Minister Visits Ukraine to Solidify Alliance Amid Ongoing Conflict

Estonia's Prime Minister Visits Ukraine to Solidify Alliance Amid Ongoing Conflict
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.

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas recently visited Ukraine and met with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Zhytomyr to discuss a range of issues, including strengthening Ukraine's military capabilities and political cooperation, Ukraine's progress towards full membership in the European Union and NATO, and the restoration of Ukraine. During the meeting, President Zelenskyy expressed his appreciation for Estonia's timely support in Ukraine's defense, noting that Estonia's defense assistance for Ukraine is one of the largest in the world on a per capita basis. President Zelenskyy also thanked Estonia for its assistance in the treatment, prosthetics, and rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers injured on the battlefield.

Prime Minister Kallas emphasized the importance of continuing assistance with weapons, ammunition, and training for the Ukrainian military on a sufficient scale to ensure Ukraine's victory in the ongoing conflict. She also expressed her belief in a prosperous Ukraine with liberal democracy, a free market economy, and membership in the Euro-Atlantic community, and stated that Ukraine's struggle and sacrifices have clearly shown that the way to peace is to eliminate gray areas in European security.

During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed the restoration of Ukraine, with President Zelenskyy highlighting that Estonia became the first country to begin the practical restoration of the Ukrainian region, namely the Zhytomyr Oblast. President Zelenskyy also awarded Prime Minister 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.

Overall, the meeting between the Estonian Prime Minister and the Ukrainian President underscored the importance of continued cooperation and support between the two countries, both in terms of Ukraine's defense and its path towards full membership in the European Union and NATO.