Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas noted on Monday that the war in Ukraine is testing EU unity.
She pointed out that the conflict has negative effects on the standard of living and inflation across Europe, which makes it difficult to maintain unity, The Guardian reported on Monday.
Kallas criticised French President Emmanuel Macron for offering Russian President Vladimir Putin a diplomatic way to end the conflict, stressing that the move only makes Putin believe he will not face consequences for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“We are at a point when sanctions start to hurt our side,” she observed and added that the measures initially only hit Russia. “Now the question is how much pain are we willing to endure,” she noted and pointed out that not all EU member states are in the same position.
Kallas stated that “gas might be expensive, but freedom is priceless,” adding that people who live in free societies do not understand this.
She reminded that Estonia was under the USSR until 1991 and pointed out that some Western European countries do not have this experience “so the values might go out of the window as soon as you feel the pain on your side.”
Commenting on Putin, Kallas stated that she does “not see any point in talking to him if we want to get the message through that he is isolated and the message that he will not escape unpunished for this and will be held accountable for all the crimes committed.”
Kallas against ceasefire
She described calls for ceasefire or peace as “premature” and added that any ceasefire would not end atrocities in occupied territories.
Kallas proposed that Germany stops buying Russian natural gas and instead spends the money on the rebuilding of Ukraine, expressing belief that “this would send a clear signal to Russia that for every building you destroy, you are going to have to pay for this.”
She is to attend a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later today as part of her visit to Berlin.
Kallas’ coalition government collapsed late last week and she warned that, if her plan to form a new coalition falls through, the government will likely be replaced by rightwing extremists who oppose Ukrainian refugees, sympathise with Russia and do not recognise Joe Biden as the legitimate President of the US.