Yesterday, Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet had a phone call with Minister of Defence of Ukraine Andrii Taran to discuss the tense situation in the eastern part of Ukraine, Crimea, and the opportunities that Estonia and Western countries in general can provide for Ukraine.
“Estonia has always supported Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union and NATO and the reforms that Ukraine must carry out on this path,” said Minister of Defence Laanet.
“The situation on the border of eastern Ukraine remains complicated, despite promises by Russia to withdraw its troops, we are seeing that Russia is still pressuring Ukraine with political, informational and military means. That is why it was important for me to receive information directly from the Ukrainian Minister of Defence on the current situation on Ukraine’s borders. We must also take into consideration that preparations for the Russian training exercise Zapad 2021, which will start in a few months, are already underway,” he continued.
Minister Laanet promised his Ukrainian counterpart that he would also raise the issue of Ukraine at yesterday’s meeting of NATO Defence Ministers.
Taran and Laanet promised to continue bilateral defence co-operation between the countries, strengthening it not only in the current areas but also in the cyber realm.
Since the autumn of 2015, 165 Ukrainian servicemen wounded in the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine have received rehabilitation treatment at the Seli Health Centre of the Estonian Defence Forces. Estonia has supported the training of Ukrainian servicemen at the Baltic Defence College since 2002, and in recent years Ukrainians have also received training at the Estonian Military Academy. In addition, training of Ukrainian cyber experts in the field of cyber defence is planned to be continued. This year, the Estonian Defence Forces servicemen will participate in the Sea Breeze and Joint Endeavour training exercises in Ukraine.
Andrii Taran has been the Minister of Defence of Ukraine since March 2020.
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