Minister of Defence Jüri Luik took part yesterday and today in the celebrations in Kiev marking the 26th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. While there he met with President Poroshenko and Oleksandr Turtchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine.
At his meeting with Oleksandr Turtchynov, the Minister of Defence discussed Ukraine’s security situation and confirmed that Estonia will continue to support Ukraine politically and in practical defence related cooperation, including the training of special operations forces and in the field of military medicine, while also continuing to share its cyber knowledge.
‘We are a small country, but by focusing what we are offering we are also able to help Ukraine. We believe that the training-related support of Ukraine by Estonia and other NATO member countries is of critical importance', said Minister of Defence Luik.
During the meeting President Petro Poroshenko commented that the war is unfortunately continuing and the number of civilian casualties has increased considerably. Ukraine wants peace, which requires continued solidarity and unity from its transatlantic partners. Western unity has forced Russia to pay a high price for its aggression.
‘Estonian support of Ukraine is steadfast and we understand quite clearly the strong connection between Ukraine's struggle and our own security. Estonia supports the continuation of sanctions against Russia’, said Minister of Defence Luik.
Minister of Defence Luik also participated today in Ukraine’s Independence Day parade. The four-member Estonian Colour Guard from the Military Police Guard Battalion also participated in the parade. The flag officer was Major Martin Kukk, Commander of the Guard Battalion, the colour bearer was 2nd Lieutenant Sander Karask, and two Guard Battalion officers served as flag escorts.
Estonia supports Ukraine in the training of special operations forces and the field of military medicine. 64 wounded Ukrainian soldiers have recieved rehabilitation treatment in Estonia. Ukrainian medics have also participated in training in Estonia.
Jüri Luik: By protecting Ukraine, we are protecting Europe
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Minister of Defence Jüri Luik presented a gift and letter of thanks to the members of Naiskodukaitse who created the mobile app Ole Valmis (Be Ready), which helps people be better prepared in the event of accidents and during crisis situations.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik visited the headquarters of large-scale training exercise Siil 2018 (Hedgehog 2018) and observed the course of the final combat exercise from aboard a helicopter.