Foreign Minister Liimets in Ukraine: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania support Ukraine’s reconstruction efforts

Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets was on a visit to Ukraine with the Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to express the unwavering support of the Baltic States to Ukraine and its people. The foreign ministers met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stephanishyna and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The foreign ministers also visited the memorial wall dedicated to fallen soldiers and Irpin where many horrors committed by Russia were uncovered after the city was liberated.

 “It is important for Estonia and the entire Western world to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty and territorial integrity and offer assistance to the people who have suffered in the war. This is why Estonia will continue to offer Ukraine every assistance, including emergency aid that would help Ukrainians deal with the war damage and start rebuilding their country again in the hope of victory,” the foreign minister said after the meeting. “The president of Ukraine proposed selecting so-called focus oblasts or municipalities for aid. Accordingly, Estonia has decided to respond to the call by the Zhytomyr oblast and concentrate on this region in providing development and humanitarian aid for post-war reconstruction,” the minister added.

She explained that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided humanitarian aid worth €1.9 million so far. The supplementary budget currently pending approval sets out a further €3 million of assistance to Ukraine. This includes €2 million for medical and psychological assistance. “We are seeing these horrible crimes that Russia is committing against civilians in Ukraine. This includes brutal violence against women and children. This is why we need to help mitigate the impact of violence against women and children, and provide shelter and other essentials to Ukrainians who have lost their homes or schools. Nearly €600 000 in the draft supplementary budget would go to primary emergency works, such as explosive ordnance disposal, rescue works in collapsed buildings and medical teams, and €400 000 is earmarked for the provision and transport of urgent humanitarian aid in food aid, essentials, healthcare and shelter,” Liimets said.

Irpin is one of many communities where the rape, torture and execution of civilians was uncovered following liberation. Documenting these actions is important for ensuring that the perpetrators are punished for their crimes and the families of the dead and all victims get justice. Estonia has presented its candidates for the team investigating these crimes to support the work of the International Criminal Court.

The foreign minister underlined that the reconstruction accompanying Ukraine’s reforms would take the country closer to European Union and NATO membership. “Estonia is contributing to Ukraine’s digital and green transition with innovative solutions. Our aim is to have maximum cooperation with other countries supporting Ukraine to amplify our innovation assistance. As a NATO member, Estonia is determined in its support for NATO’s open door policy,” Foreign Minister Liimets said.