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At today’s Riigikogu sitting, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning foreign policy objectives (No 323), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Sven Mikser, Marianne Mikko, Andres Anvelt, Neeme Suur, Rein Randver, Kalvi Kõva, Eiki Nestor, Tiit Tammsaar, Jaak Allik, Heljo Pikhof, Mart Meri, Helmen Kütt and Jaan Õunapuu on 18 April.

The interpellators posed a number of questions concerning the Government’s foreign policy activities in view of the connection between economic policy interests and respect for human rights in relations with Ukraine. The interpellation was based on the recent visit of the Prime Minister and the delegation accompanying him to Ukraine.

Ansip confirmed that, at the meeting with the Ukrainian President as well as the Prime Minister, he had said how important it is for Ukraine to continue with the reforms that have been launched and to meet the requirements formulated by the European Union. “Similarly to all European Union leaders, I see no place for selective administration of justice but nor do I approve of making the development of the relations of the whole European Union and Ukraine dependent on one issue. The value-based and the pragmatic approach have not been opposites in Estonian foreign policy; they have complemented each other,” the Prime Minister explained.

In Ansip’s opinion, one cannot put all relations between the European Union and Ukraine on one card. Nor has the European Union put the future of its relations on one card. If we look for example at the growth of export volumes from the European Union to Ukraine then it has been remarkable. In 2009, the volume of export from the European Union to Ukraine was 14 billion euro, and in 2012 it amounted to 23.8 billion euro. This has been a very stormy development of economic relations, Ansip brought an example.

Ukraine has promised to carry out very extensive reforms in order that their legal order, that is, legal framework would meet EU standards. Several of these landmarks have been achieved, several of them are being achieved and yet others will hopefully be achieved. In his words, the Ukrainian Constitution should probably be amended if many or several reforms are to be completed. This process is underway at present. “Of course we would like to see these reforms progress at a notably quicker pace and to be more extensive but there is certainly no reason to deny the significance of the reforms that have been and are being carried out,” Ansip found.

Prime Minister replied to two more interpellations concerning regulation of fishing policy and fishery on Lake Peipus (No 327) and emigration (No 335), respectively.

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts, the Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher and the Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas also replied to interpellations. The interpellations concerned the statistics of bribery cases at traffic registry offices of the Estonian Road Administration (No 324), road construction and maintenance (No 331), the problem of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union concerning residence permits (No 330), regulation of the consumption of the electronic cigarette and its impact on health (No 322), subsistence benefits (No 325) and rental and sale of assistive and rehabilitative devices on favourable terms (No 326), respectively.

The Riigikogu Press Service 

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