After their visit to Ukraine, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Marko Mihkelson and members of the Committee Barbi Pilvre and Henn Põlluaas think that the war in Ukraine has to be ended peacefully and diplomatically, and Europe needs to contribute to building up of Ukraine more than it has done so far.
Chairman of the Committee Marko Mihkelson said that Ukraine needed Estonia's and also international support to be a strong and stable state governed by the rule of law, according to the official website of the Parliament of Estonia.
"Ukraine has a place of priority in Estonia's development aid programs, and it has to remain so also in the future," Mihkelson emphasized.
Mihkelson thinks that it is important that the presidential and parliamentary elections held next year in Ukraine were conducted openly, democratically and without interference. In his opinion, there is a threat that at the elections, Russia will support the forces who would like to see the discontinuation of the reforms in Ukraine.
Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Barbi Pilvre said that it was necessary to draw the attention of international community constantly to the events in East Ukraine, because in the abundance of news, much could be forgotten and people tended to get used to war. "The fact is that the war in East Ukraine goes on," Pilvre pointed out. She emphasized that the conflict had to get a diplomatic and peaceful solution. "In order to achieve that, pressure has to be exerted on Russia through sanctions and the Government of Ukraine has to be helped in solving the humanitarian crisis," she said.
In the opinion of members of the Committee Henn Põlluaas, it is sad that there is a war in the middle of Europe, and Europe has closed its eyes to it. He thinks that Estonia and other European countries have to help the people of East Ukraine to restore their homes, so that they could return to their homeland. It is also necessary to help the children overcome the trauma of war. "The contribution of Ukraine alone is not enough to end the war and make the country liveable again," Põlluaas said. Estonia, and also the rest of Europe, have to contribute considerably more to support Ukraine."
The visit of the Foreign Affairs Committee to Ukraine took place on September 16-20. They went to Donetsk region in East Ukraine, where they visited Mayorsk checkpoint and Luhanske village on the frontline. In Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, they met with the Governor of Donetsk region and representatives of international aid organizations.
They also had meetings with First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's Parliament) Iryna Herashchenko, Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Hanna Hopko, and Oleksandr Turchynov, Head of the National Security and Defense Council, an advisory body to the President of Ukraine. The delegation of the Foreign Affairs Committee also met with the new generation politicians of Ukraine Serhiy Leshchenko, Mustafa Nayyem and Svitlana Zalishchuk, and representatives of think tanks and citizens association Vostok-SOS, which cooperates with the Estonian development aid organizations.