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President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Lauri Hussar together with the Speakesr of the Parliaments of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine today issued a joint declaration in Białystok, Poland. In the declaration, they express their determination to reinforce the role of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in concern for security in Central and Eastern Europe and in support of Ukraine, and state that Russia’s continuing war of aggression requires more decisive actions from the pro-Ukrainian coalition.

The Speakers confirm that their countries will continue the work on bilateral security cooperation agreements and their implementation, and regard commitments for sustained long term military assistance to Ukraine as a priority. “Comprehensive support to enhance Ukraine’s combat capability in the fight against Russia’s war of aggression, as well as initiatives to ensure the rapid supply of weapons and ammunition to the Ukraine’s armed forces we see as particularly important,” they declare.

According to the joint declaration, the Speakers appreciate the prospect of establishing a NATO-Ukraine Joint Analysis, Training and Education Centre in Poland so that Ukraine can share its experience in combating Russia`s war of aggression. They also recognize that the war effort is more effective without setting limitations to our support. “We reiterate that Ukraine has the right to defend itself according to the international law, and that also includes striking legitimate military targets in Russian territory. Ukraine must be able to hit back the attacks that come from Russia or the occupied territories of Ukraine,” the Speakers say in the joint declaration.

The Speakers welcome the readiness of some countries to join an international coalition and send their instructors to Ukraine, at a time suitable for them, to train Ukraine’s military. “[We] recognize that a significant escalation of the situation, which will pose a threat to Ukrainian statehood, will require more decisive actions from the pro-Ukrainian coalition.” they say.

The Speakers believe that a condition for ensuring sustainable peace in Europe is to secure Ukraine’s place in Euro-Atlantic structures, and expect that the NATO Summit in Washington in July will contribute to defining irreversible Ukraine’s path to membership. They also point out that Ukraine’s accession negotiations with the European Union are a strategic objective for Ukraine and the EU, and therefore, the First intergovernmental conference to open accession talks with Ukraine must be held no later than June. “Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania support Ukraine and are ready to share the experience of 20 years of their membership in the European Union,” the joint declaration underlines.

The Speakers also declare continued intensive cooperation between their nations to counter the pressing and pervasive threat of Russia’s neo-imperialist policies. “[We] firmly believe that our collective strength – Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians – is the key to confronting the Russia’s threat and ensuring regional security,” they say.

Besides Hussar, the joint declaration was also signed by Daiga Mieriņa from the Parliament of Latvia, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen from the Parliament of Lithuania, Szymon Hołownia from the Parliament of Poland, and Ruslan Stefanchuk from the Parliament of Ukraine.

The Speakers made the joint declaration after their two-day meeting in Białystok, where supporting Ukraine, strengthening the security of Europe and joint resistance to Russia’s intensifying hybrid and cyber attacks was discussed. Regional security was addressed at the meeting also in a wider sense, by discussing the cooperation between local governments, cross-border projects, science and culture cooperation and youth exchange. The Speakers of parliaments also met with local young people, with whom they exchanged ideas about the security situation in Europe and possible further developments.

The text of the joint declaration by the Speakers in English and in Estonian.

Riigikogu Press Service

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