Ilves: War has broken out in Europe

War has broken out in Europe, a European nation has fallen victim to the aggression of its neighbor, and the European Union, as the bearer of European values, cannot remain a helpless bystander.

In a telephone conversation today with Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called on the Community to assume a key role in ending the attacks by Russia’s armed forces on civil and military targets in Georgia, which is a partner state of the European Union.

“The scale and specificity of Russia’s attacks indicates detailed planning,” the Estonian Head of State said to the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. “Essentially, Russia copied the Serbia and Kosovo scenario one-to-one: crippling of infrastructure, destroying military capacity, undermining the lawful regime and claiming humanitarian intervention.”

According to the Estonian Head of State, the European Union must therefore resolutely support the legitimacy of the democratic and law-abiding government, which has not oppressed its own population in any way.

“It is the European Union that can and should be the strong power that induces the Russian Federation to end its military activity on the territory of the Republic of Georgia,” the Estonian Head of State stressed. “War has broken out in Europe, a European nation has fallen victim to the aggression of its neighbor, and the European Union, as the bearer of European values, cannot remain a helpless bystander.”

“We both understand that the European Union faces a very serious and fundamental choice, because the Russian attacks against Georgia unavoidably confront us with the task of reviewing several aspects of current cooperation between the European Union and Russia,” President Ilves told Solana. “Russia’s military strikes in Georgia toll a knell for many of Europe’s hopes, such the possibility of sharing common fundamental values with Russia.”

To show Russia that aggression will not be without consequences, President Ilves recommended to Javier Solana that the European Union immediately suspend the visa facilitation agreement with Russia and further dialogue on this topic. President Ilves believes that the entire specter of relations between the European Union and Russia should be re-examined.

http://www.president.ee/en/duties/press_releases.php?gid=116999

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