Estonia has proposed to restore Ukraine with money from Russia’s oil and gas revenues, so payments from the EU to Russia for energy supplies, as they think in Tallinn, should be temporarily deposited, according to a report by Interfax on Wednesday.
In the preceding week, Estonia asked for the European Union to set up an escrow account to capture part of the payments for Moscow’s oil and gas and use it to rebuild Ukraine.
Estonian prime minister had said before a meeting with EU leaders at a summit Brussels on 24 March, that the idea would be discussed amongst EU leaders.
In a briefing on Wednesday, Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets echoed the same sentiments;
“The cost of military action for Russia must be very high, so by the end of the year the EU will reduce the supply of fossil fuels from Russia by two-thirds.”
“But in order to have an immediate impact and make Russia pay for what was done to Ukraine, last week the Estonian Prime Minister proposed at the EU Council to temporarily deposit payments for Russian gas and oil and use them to rebuild Ukraine,” the minister said.
According to the minister, it is important that negotiations are underway between Ukraine and Russia, “but there is no progress in them.”
“Ukraine is conducting these negotiations under pressure,” Liimets said.
She stressed that in connection with the hostilities, Estonia will continue to work in three areas – this is support for Ukraine, strengthening the political and economic isolation of Russia, as well as strengthening its own security.
The European Union has pledged to wean itself off Russia’s energy resources over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine by 2030.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur