State visit to Vienna – Austria and Estonia continue to support Ukraine


Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) have promised Ukraine further support against Russia. Kallas also called on the Europeans during a visit to Vienna on Thursday evening to invest more in their defense. “To deter and prevent war in Europe, we must be credible and strong,” she said. The threat is real. Kallas is Nehammer’s guest at the opera ball that evening.

At a press conference with the Estonian head of government, Nehammer emphasized that Austria clearly condemns Russia’s war of aggression and stands in full solidarity with Ukraine. Austria makes constructive use of neutrality, so that war and land seizures may never again be a political tool. As a neutral country, Austria is clearly in the minority in the EU, but is still fully committed to sanctions against Russia and support to Ukraine. Austria focuses on humanitarian aid, for example by taking in war-injured people and facilitating military aid within the EU. “We will continue on this path consistently,” Nehammer said.

100 years of diplomatic relations
The Chancellor recalled that diplomatic relations have existed between Austria and Estonia for a hundred years. While Austria became free from Soviet occupation in 1955, the Baltic states were unable to achieve this, which was a “great tragedy”. There were many victims of Soviet communism in the Baltic states, Nehammer recalled.

Kallas also recalled the Soviet occupation in the Baltic states and the different historical developments in Austria and Estonia. Before World War II, Estonia declared itself neutral. “We learned the hard way that staying neutral is not an option with such neighbors.” From that moment on, Estonia no longer wanted to remain without alliances and joined the EU and NATO.

Estonia believes in “Victory of Ukraine”
Estonia believes in a Ukrainian victory, Kallas said. To make this possible, Ukraine must be supported “as long as it is needed and as much as it is needed.” The so-called Ramstein coalition of Ukraine-supporting countries is many times stronger than Russia. If supporters of Ukraine support Kiev with 0.25 percent of their economic output, “this could be the critical point.” Russia must also be further isolated from international organizations, Kallas demanded. Moreover, it is time to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine.

Nehammer and Kallas also condemned the instrumentalization of migrants by Belarus and Russia at the EU’s external border. “They are using this against us in the Shadow War,” Kallas said.

Prime Minister visits the Opera Ball
The Opera Ball guest from Tallinn was looking forward to the cultural event. “Dear Karl, thank you for the invitation to Vienna,” said Kallas. She is happy “to be at the center of European culture”. Kallas also emphasized that Estonia wants to expand economic relations with Austria in the field of digital technologies and services.

“Bilateral relations between our two countries are excellent and it is precisely this excellent cooperation that we want to further strengthen and expand with today’s meeting,” Nehammer emphasizes in a press release. In addition to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel and the other major challenges in the fight against illegal migration were also the subject of discussion.

Source: Krone


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