Kallas and Merkel discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the Belarusian hybrid attack on the Lithuanian border

17.08.2021 | 00:00

Berlin, 17 August 2021 – At a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas discussed the Belarusian hybrid attack against the European Union and the situation in Afghanistan.
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Regarding the events in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasised that the most important diplomatic goal is to stop serious human rights violations and the violence. “We must prevent what is happening there from becoming a breeding ground for terrorism and thus a threat to us. The freedoms and rights of women and children must not be compromised – what has been achieved so far must be upheld. Here, both states and the media and non-governmental organisations have an important role to play in exerting pressure,” said Kallas. “It is clear that we will not leave behind the people in Afghanistan who have worked for us – NATO and the European Union. It is our moral duty to help them,” said the prime minister.

According to Kallas, Estonia and Germany share the view on Belarus that Lukashenko has launched a hybrid attack on the European Union. “The aim of this operation is to punish those governments that have resolutely opposed the mass repression and human rights abuses in Belarus and helped the victims of these serious human rights abuses. The European Union has jointly exerted pressure on the Belarusian regime and economy through sanctions,” said the prime minister. “The situation requires the Member States of the European Union to start discussing new sanctions against the Belarusian regime soon – we know that dictators are discouraged by a common attitude and decisions of countries and that sanctions have a significant impact on the Belarusian regime,” she added.

Kallas and Merkel also discussed the security of our region. “The authoritarian use of force of Russia necessitates a common defence policy by the Allies on the eastern wing of NATO. Germany has an important role to play in this – Germany is one of the most frequent allies in the defence operations of the Baltic airspace, and the German Defence Forces help to maintain the security of our region in Lithuania,” said the prime minister and expressed satisfaction that our German colleagues are working at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. The prime minister and the federal chancellor also talked about the Nord Stream project. “We share the view that Russia must be discouraged from using energy as a weapon, so to speak. “Germany has a key role to play here.”

Speaking about the close relations between Estonia and Germany, Prime Minister Kallas emphasised the close cooperation in the European Union, NATO, but also at the international level – last year, we were both elected members of the UN Security Council. “This Friday marks 30 years since Estonia regained its independence and returned to the free world, and Estonia and Germany restored their diplomatic friendship. We have been successful in building a free and democratic Estonian state. Germany has been with us on this journey as a friend and ally,” said the prime minister.

Kallas emphasised the commitment of Merkel in ensuring European unity and her ambition and demand in directing transnational cooperation on the global stage. “Germany has been the embodiment of political responsibility in free Europe,” she said.

Speaking about the pursuit of climate neutrality, Kallas emphasised that it is high time we took very concrete action before the consequences for our planet become irreversible. “Climate neutrality is an inevitability and the only possible goal. The future of us all depends on the health of the planet. We must listen to scientists and immediately react together to the situation caused by human activities,” said the prime minister. She highlighted Germany as the leader for climate policy.

The prime minister also confirmed that Estonia is committed to achieving climate goals. “The green transition ensures a secure future for our children and is also an opportunity to restructure the economy more sustainably, encourage new investments, and increase the competitiveness of companies. For example, we plan to build a network of wind farms in the Baltic Sea – I see this as an opportunity for cooperation for Estonia and Germany as well,” she added.

According to Kallas, Estonia and Germany also share the desire to take advantage of the digital transition and thereby give a boost to the European economy. “However, to achieve this and maintain a democratic and free society, we need secure data systems and a high level of cyber security, as well as investments targeted on a transparent and fair basis,” said the prime minister. According to Kallas, these topics will be in focus at the digital summit in Tallinn on 7 September.

Photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWqwyDV

Government Communication Unit

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