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Estonian Prime Minister, Kallas Emphasizes Role of Bordering Nations in Sanctions Implementation and Evasion Hinderance

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Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, during a high-profile meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, underscored the pivotal role that countries bordering Russia play in enforcing sanctions and curbing their evasion. The leaders convened to discuss various crucial aspects of their nations’ partnership, defense cooperation within NATO, support for Ukraine, and pertinent European Union matters.

Prime Minister Kallas asserted, “Together we get things done,” emphasizing the strong alignment of Estonia and Finland on key issues. The leaders’ harmonious stance reflects their commitment to working collaboratively on regional and international challenges.

Addressing the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Prime Minister Kallas described it as a war of attrition against both Ukraine and the broader free world. She emphasized the necessity of escalating the cost of Russia’s aggression and reducing its financial resources to curtail its military endeavors. Kallas expressed concern about Russia’s ability to evade sanctions and redirect its trade flows despite international efforts.

Highlighting the critical role of nations sharing borders with Russia, Prime Minister Kallas asserted, “In Estonia, we have recently endorsed proposals for the European Union’s 12th package of sanctions, which I have shared with Prime Minister Orpo today.” She emphasized that their collective voice carries significant weight in persuading EU partners to adopt more robust sanctions and explore solutions to prevent evasion.

Given Estonia and Finland’s geographical proximity to Russia, a substantial volume of goods transit through their territories. Prime Minister Kallas asserted, “Russia’s continued perpetration of war crimes and barbaric acts in Ukraine necessitates an end to trade with Russia. We are actively pursuing a comprehensive trade embargo on Russia, along with substantial restrictions on transit to third countries. Efforts to curtail Russia’s revenue from energy sources are ongoing, and it is imperative that frozen Russian assets remain inaccessible until full war reparations are paid.”

Prime Minister Kallas also met with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to discuss security concerns, support for Ukraine, and the deepening defense cooperation between their nations. She welcomed Finland’s potential NATO membership, highlighting the increased security it would bring to the Baltic Sea region and the alliance as a whole. Kallas emphasized the growing opportunities for Nordic countries and Baltic States to enhance collaboration in security and defense.

During her visit to Helsinki, Prime Minister Kallas engaged with prominent Finnish companies and investors, stressing the importance of focusing on business and entrepreneurship in economically challenging times. She emphasized the need to support Estonian companies and promote innovation and economic growth.

Prime Minister Kallas is slated to participate in the Helsinki Security Forum, where she will engage in discussions on the European security situation alongside Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen.

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