Estonian president: Attacking war-supporting targets in Russia is legitimate

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denõss Shmyhal met with President Alar Karis.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denõss Shmyhal met with President Alar Karis. Photo: Mihkel Maripuu

Meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kadriorg, Tallinn, on Wednesday, Estonian President Alar Karis said that he considers legitimate the targeting of military and war-supporting targets located in Russia's rear.

«Ukraine is at war. Russia puts no limits on itself when attacking Ukraine. Therefore, we must not set limitations on the aid provided to Ukraine either. I consider it entirely legitimate for Ukraine to target military and war-supporting targets in Russia's rear in order to slow down Russia's war machine,» Karis said according to spokespeople.

«Imposing limitations to the effect that we will assist Ukraine up to one point and not a single step beyond would only help Russia in planning its aggression strikes,» the Estonian head of state said. «In a war, it is perfectly legitimate for the Ukrainian defense forces to destroy infrastructure necessary for the Russian army, if it is connected with missile and drone attacks, whether at close range or from afar, against Ukrainian civilian and energy targets,» Karis said.

The president recalled that the European Union, together with its transatlantic allies, is economically and militarily stronger and more powerful than Russia, which has launched a war of aggression.

«This is a war where on one side, colonialist evil is on the onslaught, and on the other side, international law, the independence of states, are defending themselves. Now it's a question of dedication to the goal and finding the necessary means as quickly as possible so that we can truly hold our own also in actuality,» Karis said. «Western countries can stockpile all the ammunition, weaponry, and equipment they want, but if Ukrainians lack everything in the battles of defense, the domestic stockpile is irrelevant.»

Estonia has decided to provide military aid to Ukraine in an amount equaling 0.25 percent of its GDP over four years, and calls on allies to do the same.

«If everyone does this, then Ukraine will win,» Karis said. «We must give Ukrainians what they truly need.»

The president said he considers it important to provide continuous assistance in the reconstruction of the infrastructure destroyed by Russia in Ukraine, which must be dealt with in the face of battles, in order to give Ukrainians hope of their lives becoming more normal and them being able to return to their homeland. He also stressed his desire to support the Ukrainian economy through business cooperation in the defense industry, construction and digital sectors.

«And let me repeat what I have said on several occasions before -- science and education in Ukraine need special attention. Keeping them going and helping them to get back on their feet when needed is what will determine the future of Ukraine to a large extent. If we say in Estonia that our strength is education, the same goes for Ukraine,» the president said.

He said the economic sanctions imposed on Russia are, of course, essential.

«But it is even more necessary to adhere to these sanctions, without which they are just a beautiful declaration, nothing more,» the Estonian head of state added.

«On a daily basis, we must see Ukraine, as well as Moldova, in the picture of the enlargement of the European Union and NATO, which means both societies freeing themselves from the grip of corruption and visibly moving towards a strong civil society,» Karis said.