Baltic PMs stress extensive sanctions on Russia, military support to Ukraine

The Prime Ministers of the Baltic States met April 22 to discuss war in Ukraine and sanctions. In a media conference after the meeting, all PMs emphasized the importance of extending the sanctions and military support to Ukraine in order to achieve peace.

Peace is achieved by the victory of Ukraine in the war waged by Russia against it. This requires Western military assistance, including weapons, as well as stepping up sanctions against Russia, excluding all its banks from the international payment system SWIFT and imposing sanctions against Russian energy sources, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš.

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also stated that there were a lot of sanctions already imposed by the EU, but more can be done by targeting Russian oil and gas.

Lithuania's Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said: “There is a fight in Ukraine between good and evil, a fight between tyrants and freedom, a fight over how the world and Europe will look into the future. This fight is linked to each of us. Until evil is defeated, we have no right to be tired or doubtful because both our fatigue and doubt would be allies for the aggressor,” she said.

Šimonytė said that it is important to continue the pressure on the Kremlin, to extend sanctions, to agree on energy sanctions, and to cut off Russian banks from the SWIFT system.

The Prime Ministers of the Baltic States stressed the need to further strengthen the Baltic defense capacity, mentioning that all three Baltic States have decided to increase their defense spending.

The Baltic Prime Ministers discussed how to cooperate with each other at a time when, due to Russian aggression in Ukraine, the security situation in Europe has changed greatly. Although NATO doubled its presence in the region following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russia must be shown that any aggression against a NATO country is doomed to failure, said Kaja Kallas.

Kariņš also said: “We request not only a permanent NATO presence, but a new type of NATO presence, based on the premise that no invasion or potential attack could take place, because our capabilities to defend ourselves and win would be unmistakable from the first day.”

The Prime Ministers of all three Baltic States also pointed to mutual cooperation between the Baltic States in providing sufficient sources of gas supply in the region, withdrawing from Russian gas.

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