Estonian PM sounds alarm over leaders' stance on Russia
It's getting harder for European unity around Ukraine, the Estonian PM worries. Kaya Kallas warns that anti-Russian sanctions will be a test for Europe, criticizes the position of French President Macron towards Russia, and also gives Germany strange advice on paying for Russian gas.
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Photo: Global Look Press
European unity in the response to Russia's actions in Ukraine is proving difficult to maintain in the face of the conflict's impact on inflation and living standards on the continent, according to the Estonian Prime Minister.
According to The Guardian, Kaya Callas also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for his attempt to provide Vladimir Putin with a diplomatic way out of the conflict.
“We have come to a point where sanctions are starting to hurt our side,” Prime Minister Kallas said. “At first the sanctions were hard only for Russia, but now we have come to a point where sanctions are painful for our own countries, and now the question is how much pain we are willing to endure. It is different for different countries. Unity is very difficult to maintain. This is becoming increasingly difficult due to high inflation and energy prices.”
The head of the Estonian government added: “Gas may be expensive, but freedom is priceless. People living in the free world don't really get it.”
Estonia is experiencing the highest inflation in the EU, and Kallas' coalition government collapsed last Friday, forcing her to fight to form a new government in the union with the Social Democrats, writes The Guardian.
Kallas has criticized Macron for negotiating with Putin, saying she sees no point in talking to Russian leaders. According to her, she is very worried about “premature calls for a ceasefire or peace”: “We have already made this mistake three times, in Georgia, in the Donbas and in Crimea, and we cannot repeat this mistake again.” In this regard, The Guardian recalls that Emmanuel Macron recently repeated his opinion that Russia cannot be humiliated.
The Estonian Prime Minister also said that she fears that an EU embargo on Russian gas, but she offered Germany a surprisingly simple alternative – to stop paying Moscow for Russian gas purchases, and instead deposit money into an account that goes to reparations and the restoration of Ukraine.
These are, to put it mildly, strange Kaya Kallas outlined her ideas on the eve of a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, when she was going to tell Berlin that the European Union, although making the right decisions, is doing it too slowly for Ukraine.