Estonia is siding with the EU and backing the maintenance of Russian sanctions
Prime minister Juri Ratas believes his country has no opportunity to adopt its own foreign policy towards Moscow and must side with Brussels to protect its own interests.
Mr Ratas said: “Russia is our neighbour, there is a big market there, many companies want to work there.
If we want the European Union to exist, yes, we will vote for prolongation of the sanctions
“But we formulate the Estonian position together with the European Union and our partners.”
He added: “Speaking about the sanctions, they influence on all European states. But that is not the most important issue. It is more important that we are acting in line with the international law.”
NATO training exercises
Wed, June 8, 2016
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty
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Polish troops land with parachutes at the military compound near Torun, central Poland as part of the NATO Anaconda-16 military exercise
“As I have already said, Estonia is a very stable partner for the European Union. If we want the European Union to exist, yes, we will vote for prolongation of the sanctions.”
The news comes after Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid welcomed her Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko during an official visit on Monday.
The pair discussed the sanctions against Russia, with Poroshenko keen for his European neighbours to continue supporting the sanctions against Russia while the country does not fully adhere to the Minsk agreements, designed to allay tensions following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
A NATO exercise in Estonia in 2014
Following talks between the two leaders, Poroshenko said: "We discussed development of the economic cooperation between two countries and improvement of the investment climate in our state.
“We noted the need to accelerate holding of the meeting of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Estonian Commission on trade, economic and scientific and technical cooperation.”
Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid (L) with Ukraine leader Petro Poroshenko on Monday
Ms Kaljulaid added: “We have also discussed the issues concerning the situation in eastern Ukraine and the need to respect the Minsk agreements, and that the sanctions against Russia need to be maintained as long as Minsk agreements are not fully met – while Russia does not fulfil all its international obligations.”
Estonia is currently hosting a large number of Nato troops as members of the alliance – including Britain – deploy forces as a deterrent against Russian aggression.