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Mikser: we support additional sanctions in light of the Kerch Strait events

Today, 18 February, Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser attended the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. During the discussion of EU foreign ministers on the issue of Ukraine, Mikser highlighted the deteriorating security situation in the country and the need for added EU support for Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Mikser stressed that the security situation in Ukraine has not improved over the years. “In light of this, we must give a concrete response to the events that took place in the Kerch Strait late last year,” the Foreign Minister said. “Sanctions are an indispensable tool for affecting Russia’s actions and therefore we wish to extend sanctions to those responsible for what happened in the Kerch Strait,” Mikser emphasised. At the meeting, EU ministers reached a political agreement to extend sanctions to persons involved in the events of the Kerch Strait, and it will take effect after the obligatory procedures within the EU have been completed.

“Despite the obstacles caused by Russia’s aggression, Ukraine has shown specific results in terms of reforms since 2014,” Foreign Minister Mikser said. “The EU’s continued support and also its support through development aid helps Ukraine stay on the course of reform, including its continued fight against corruption,” Mikser said. The Foreign Minister highlighted that Estonia also continues to support Ukraine in carrying out reforms, especially in the field of e-elections and cybersecurity.

The Minister also expressed concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Ukraine. “The situation in the eastern regions of Ukraine is serious, and together as the European Union we must find ways to offer additional aid,” he said.

The meeting touched on the upcoming presidential elections in March. “We are expecting fair and free elections, however, we cannot underestimate the risk of Russian influence and interference activities,” Foreign Minister Mikser said. “In the context of elections, we must contribute to the OSCE observation mission to ensure a smoother conduct of elections,” he said, adding that Estonia also plans to contribute to the OSCE mission with its observers.

The foreign ministers of the European Union also discussed the latest events in Syria, the situation in the Horn of Africa, and Venezuela.

Additional information:
Sandra Kamilova
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Communication Department
+372 5667 5362