Estonia PM Calls on Russia, urged the West to hold Russia accountable for war crimes and the invasion of Ukraine. She said that the conflict cannot end with a peace deal that does not hold Moscow to account. Estonia’s Prime Minister, Kaja Kallas emphasized that there can be no normal relationship with a pariah state that has not abandoned its imperialistic goals. She spoke at a major security conference in Munich, where Vice President Kamala Harris also demanded that Russia be held accountable for its actions.
Kallas argued that Russia’s invasion must come at a higher price so that aggressors or would-be aggressors in the world would make the calculation that it doesn’t pay off. She emphasized that accountability must come before the West can talk about its relations with Russia. Kallas also noted that no tribunal was set up following the Cold War to prosecute crimes by the Soviet Union, including mass deportations of Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians.
Opposition leader Martin Helme of the far-right Conservative People’s Party accused Kallas of emptying Estonia’s arsenals, leaving the country vulnerable. Kallas dismissed the suggestion, saying that Estonia has given a lot but is also thinking about its own defense. She leads Estonia’s center-right Reform Party and has been prime minister since 2021.
Some have speculated that Kallas may replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO secretary-general when he leaves the post in the fall. Kallas dismissed the possibility, but noted that the Baltic countries had not been given any high leadership positions in NATO since they joined in 2005. She said that it can’t be from countries like the Baltic states because it will provoke Russia, but emphasized that the relations with Russia cannot get any worse than they are now.
In conclusion, Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas emphasized that holding Russia accountable for war crimes and the invasion of Ukraine is crucial for the West’s relations with Russia. She urged that Russia’s leadership must be held responsible and come at a higher price so that aggressors or would-be aggressors in the world would make the calculation that it doesn’t pay off. Kallas dismissed the opposition leader’s suggestion that Estonia is vulnerable, stating that the country has given a lot but is also thinking about its own defense.