Prime Minister Kallas in Paris: the Aim of Allies is to Prevent Russian Aggression in Ukraine

25.11.2021 | 12:43

Paris, 24 November 2021 – In her meeting with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stressed that in view of the security situation in our region and globally, it must be ensured that everyone in Europe has a shared understanding of the challenges that lie before us and that we are able to adequately respond to them.
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Prime Minister Kallas and President Macron both said that they were paying close attention to Russian military build up near the Ukrainian border. “What is most important at the moment is that we do everything we can to avoid any kind of military escalation,” the Estonian head of government said. “To that end we must work together to take concrete steps that will deter Russia from escalating further.”

Prime Minister Kallas also stressed that there are no signs of the hybrid attack being waged by Belarus on the border of EU and NATO stopping, since maintaining the standoff for as long as possible is in the interests of the regime. “It helps take the focus away from the brutal repressions and human rights violations the Belarusian regime continues to inflict on its own people,” she remarked. “They are cruelly using people lured to Minsk under false pretences to serve their own purposes.”

The Estonian head of government said that one of the priorities of the forthcoming French presidency of the Council of the European Union was security and defence policy. “Now is the time to set out principles and plans that will enable Europe to further reinforce its security, including more effectively protecting its external borders,” she said. “Europe must boost its defensive capabilities in a way that also strengthens NATO.”

Prime Minister Kallas thanked President Macron for the significant contribution made by France in the air-policing of the Baltic States and in the NATO's eFP troops based in Estonia. She also thanked France on behalf of Estonia for its fight against terrorism in areas to the south of Europe, highlighting defence cooperation in the Sahel region, were France and Estonia have forces based in Mali. “Estonia’s largest foreign mission at present is to Mali, and with it we are making our own contribution to ensuring the region’s security,” she said. “The experience we have gained there is of great importance to us.”

During their meeting, Prime Minister Kallas and President Macron also discussed EU climate and digital policy goals in the light of the forthcoming French presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Estonian head of government stressed that in achieving the climate objectives set by the EU for 2030, investment certainty must be guaranteed for companies and the potential negative impact of reforms must be mitigated for low-income households. In terms of the EU’s digital policy, the importance of a strong internal market in order for companies to be able to grow and operate unhindered was underscored.

Prime Minister Kallas gave an address to members of MEDEF (Mouvement des Entreprises de France) International, the umbrella organisation for French companies, in which she showcased Estonia and its economic and business environment. Bilateral meetings were also held with companies interested in Estonia.


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