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The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson said on Thursday at the conference of the chairpersons of foreign affairs and defence committees of national parliaments of the European Union in Rome that persistent unity of the European countries sharing democratic values and principles, and strong opposition to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine are vital for preventing new Cold War.

“Today’s world has put European unity to serious test. Since the World War II, we have never perceived so many different threats together. Beginning from North-Africa in the South, through Middle East to Russia in the East, very different but at the same time dangerous challenges to the values and security of Europe have emerged,” Mihkelson said.

Mihkelson reminded his European colleagues that last time the EU formulated its security strategy was 11 years ago. “The world has changed a lot since then, and today we urgently need a new strategic vision. Without that, it is hard for us to jointly resist both the spreading of extremist Islam and Russia’s aggression at the same time,” Mihkelson stressed.

“Ukraine is not a bridge between Europe and Russia; Ukraine is a European country that wants to be like us. And namely because of that, they have fallen the victim of Russia’s aggression,” Mihkelson said in his speech, and added that we must be ready that probably the aggression will become deeper in the future.

Speaking at the conference held in the Senate of Italy, Mihkelson also said that Russia is against not only Ukraine’s independence, but also the values and principles of the whole Western world.

“If we do not want a new Cold War and divided Europe, we must act against Russia’s aggression together, jointly and strongly until the last occupying soldier has left Ukraine,” Mihkelson said.

The Minister of Defence of Italy Roberta Pinotti, Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni, Special Representative of the UN and Head of the UN Support Mission Bernardino León and Vice-President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will present reports at the conference. The future of the EU battle groups, strengthening of the relations between EU and Africa, stability in West Balkan and expansion of the EU are discussed in working groups. It is also planned to speak about the future of the defence of Europe, where cooperation with strategic partners will be focused on.