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World Stage: Crisis in Ukraine with Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas

Estonia Prime Minister Kaja Kallas joins Washington Post Live on Tuesday, Feb. 1 (Video: The Washington Post)
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Estonia, a member of NATO and the European Union, has sent missiles to Ukraine amidst Russia’s military buildup near the country’s borders. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius speaks with Estonia’s prime minister Kaja Kallas about what is at stake for the region in the current crisis, her country’s role in NATO and its history of occupation by the former Soviet Union.

Click here for transcript

Highlights

“Russia has not walked from the table right now, and the dialogue is going on with NATO but we have to be very, very careful that we don’t give away something that they didn’t have before.” – Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We see military buildup around Ukraine and also in Belarus by Russian troops. We also see other indications that Russia has plans to attack Ukraine. Whether they do or not is up to Kremlin to decide.” – Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think the allies are doing a good job keeping Russia at the table… But again, it’s nothing that NATO or the west can really offer to Russia to de-escalate because NATO hasn’t created this situation… It’s up to Russia to decide.” – Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Well I wouldn’t go into details about the concrete capabilities but I’m saying we are doing what we can and we are helping Ukraine with the capabilities that we can keeping in mind that we also have to strengthen our own defense at the same time.” – Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas (Video: Washington Post Live)

Kaja Kallas

Privided by the office of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Kaja Kallas is the Prime Minister of Estonia since January 2021. She has been the leader of the Reform Party since 2018, and a Member of Parliament in 2019-2021, and previously 2011-2014. In between the two terms, from 2014 to 2018, Kallas served as a member of the European Parliament (representing the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), where her primary focus was on the Digital Single Market strategy, energy and consumer policies. Before entering politics, she was an attorney-at-law, specialising in European and Estonian competition law, and partner in two law firms.

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