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The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia), which was on a visit to Ukraine, expressed support to Ukraine in the implementation of the reforms necessary for the start of accession negotiations with the European Union and emphasised that the emergence of war fatigue would be morally unacceptable.

“All meetings were very emotional and moving. Our Committee’s first visit in Europe was to Ukraine, and it was highly appreciated there. In spite of the war, the Ukrainian officials and members of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) have been meeting the recommendations of the European Commission with unprecedented speed and enthusiasm. We also discussed the issues where Ukraine still has to do homework in order to start the EU accession negotiations,” Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta said.

In her opinion, the plan for reconstruction of Ukraine and the possibility to do this, among other things, with Russia’s frozen assets are very important. “We shared, and we will continue to share our experience and solutions both in the accession process with the European Union and in our current activities. It is also very important that Estonia’s representatives persistently convince other countries of the need to understand the importance of a fair and swift trial of Russia’s war criminals. Estonia can also convince others of how the onset of war fatigue would be wrong from the moral aspect and for our European values,” she added.

Member of the European Union Affairs Committee Tanel Kiik noted that the bravery and determination of the Ukrainian people in defending their country and their nation were amazing. “We saw it at the meetings with civil servants, voluntary associations and leaders of local governments who are real patriots of their home region. It is the duty of Estonia and the free world to unwaveringly support Ukraine in winning the war, restoring its territorial integrity and rebuilding the country,” he said,

The Estonian delegation was in Ukraine from Monday to Wednesday. In Kyiv, they had meetings with Chair Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze and Deputy Chair Vadym Halaichuk of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Integration of Ukraine to the EU, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yevhen Perebyinis, Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets, Counsellor of the Deputy Prime-Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic integration Ivan Nagornyak, representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Chairman of the Ukraine-Estonia Parliamentary Friendship Group Arsenii Pushkarenko. The members of the European Union Affairs Committee also met with the European Union Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas and Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Ukraine Jarno Habicht. Human rights situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine as well as further possibilities for Estonia to assist Ukraine in the civil society sphere were discussed with the representatives of the Centre for Civil Liberties, the Crimean Platform and the NGO Truth Hounds.

After meeting with Governor of Zhytomyr Oblast Vitaliy Bunechko and Mayor of Malyn Oleksandr Sytailo, the members of the Riigikogu saw the bridge in the centre of Malyn that was damaged in a bombing. Estonia is supporting the restoration of the bridge. In the city of Ovruch, they visited the kindergarten with a shelter that was built by Estonia and children’s centre for creativity, and met with Mayor of Ovruch Ivan Korud. The delegation of the European Union Affairs Committee also visited the memorial to children killed in war in Kyiv, and met with the Director of the Museum of the Second World War and saw a detailed exhibition on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and removing of red symbols from city space.

Besides Pakosta and Kiik, members of the European Union Affairs Committee Arvo Aller, Maido Ruusmann, Luisa Rõivas and Kristo Enn Vaga participated in the visit.

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
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