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Foreign Minister Mikser in the Riigikogu: the best way to defend Estonia’s national interests and foreign policy objectives is to remain true to our values

09.02.2017

Foreign Minister Sven Mikser focused on Estonia’s key foreign policy issues and targets in his annual speech in the Riigikogu during the deliberation of foreign policy.

Talking about Estonia’s foreign policy directions and objectives, Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised remaining true to our values. “An alliance between countries and nations that honour democracy, the rule of law and human values and a world order based on international law and rules offer the best protection for our independence and freedom,” Foreign Minister Mikser said.

Talking about the alliance between Europe and Northern America, Mikser stressed that it has been the backbone of the international security and will remain so in the future. “While we long to see the continued dedication of the United States to its commitments as an ally of Europe, it is also our duty to understand the concerns and expectations of the United States. As one of the few NATO allies who performs the obligations undertaken with respect to military spending, Estonia supports the principle that all allies should endeavour to do the same,” Foreign Minister Mikser said.

Describing the tasks that the European Union must face, Mikser talked about the negotiations concerning the United Kingdom leaving the European Union that are due to start soon. According to the Foreign Minister, it is important to maintain the unity of the 27 Member States. “Negotiations must not harm the unity of the EU and the opportunity for tight cooperation by the European Union with the United Kingdom must remain,” Mikser emphasised. He added that a significant proportion of the negotiations will be held during the time of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union and this places a particular responsibility on Estonia to ensure the seamless conduct of the process.

Speaking about the Presidency, Mikser noted that during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of the year, Estonia’s visibility and influence will be greater than ever. “We focus on innovation, security and developing digital as well as inclusive Europe,” Foreign Minister said.

Foreign Minister also talked about the fight against international terrorism and conflicts and humanitarian crises in the southern neighbourhood of the European Union. “In addition to participating in international military and peacekeeping missions, we are engaged with our partners with the aim of resolving the migrant crisis and the root causes of international terrorism,” Foreign Minister said. Mikser added that by assisting the countries in distress upon reinforcing the structures required for the functioning of the country and the improvement of their sustainability, we help create prerequisites that ensure that people are not forced to leave their homes in search of a safe and dignified life.

Mikser also addressed the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and sanctions. “The territorial integrity of Ukraine has not been restored, Crimea is still illegally annexed and military action in eastern Ukraine is ongoing and has escalated in the past few weeks,” Mikser said. “As long as Russia continues to violate international law and fails to perform the obligations it has undertaken, there can be no discussions of the restoration of trust and confidence or a return to normal interactions. The sanctions must remain in effect until absolute and complete compliance with the Minsk agreements is achieved. The inescapable prerequisite for any dropping of sanctions must be Russia’s commitment to the principles of international law and performance of the obligations it has undertaken. Should Russia further disconnect itself from the performance of the obligations, we must be prepared to toughen the sanctions,” he added.

Read the full text: http://vm.ee/en/news/address-minister-foreign-affairs-mr-sven-mikser-rii...


Additional information:
Mariann Sudakov
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT, FOREIGN MINISTRY
(+372) 521 6821
(+372) 637 7628
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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