While in Paris, the President of Estonia, Alar Karis, initiated the emergency meeting held at the United Nations on November 11 on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. This small Baltic country is also part of the group of twelve countries which, at the beginning of October, demanded the construction of walls financed by the European Union (EU) to protect the external borders.
How do you analyze the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border? Does Estonia feel concerned?
The fact that in Estonia we do not have a direct border with Belarus does not mean that we are not concerned. This is a question for the whole of the European Union, because it affects its common borders and we have been facing a real escalation in recent weeks. We are monitoring what is happening very closely. We have already raised this issue in the United Nations [jeudi 11 novembre]. I also called the President of Poland. He told me he didn’t need our help right now. The main thing is to understand that it is not a question of migration, but something very orchestrated. We absolutely have to find a solution, because winter is coming, and there are many women and children among these migrants.
What solutions do you recommend?
We need more sanctions against the Belarusian regime. We are among the countries that believe that fences could be erected at certain points. It all depends on how the situation develops. For the moment, there is no European funding, but we are discussing it within the EU. For our part, we have been investing for a long time in new technologies to secure our border, which is partly the external border of the EU.
Do you think, like the Polish Prime Minister and some European leaders, that the Russian President is behind the migration crisis? What purpose ?
I don’t have any documents, of course, but the Russian president probably wants to send the message that he can destabilize the EU. Relations between Russia and the EU are frozen, and no one knows how they will develop.
Are you worried about the troop movements on the borders of Ukraine, reported by the United States?
Yes, we should all be worried. When troops enter a country, that’s a problem. Part of Ukraine is already occupied by Russia. However, there are indeed new movements of troops in the east, military exercises. This situation is worrying. We had not seen such a situation for a very long time. It is the most serious crisis that we have been going through for thirty years, since our independence. And small countries like ours must be particularly vigilant. But, even if they sometimes express different opinions, most member states are united on this issue and find the situation unacceptable.
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Belarus, Ukraine: “The current crisis is the most serious we have known for thirty years”