Press statement by Minister Hoekstra in Tallinn

Press statement by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Wopke Hoekstra during his visit in Tallinn, 7 March 2022.

Tere päevast.

Thank you, Minister Liimets, for having me here in these challenging times.

I’d like to quote something the Estonian ambassador to the Netherlands, Lauri Kuusing said last December in an interview with a Dutch newspaper:

‘If we give in now, we are sending Russia a signal that if you persist long enough, we'll break.’

In that interview he warned about the looming threat at the Ukrainian border.

Three months later this worst-case scenario is actually taking place.

There’s war at the heart of our continent. And the security of our continent is at risk.

One thing though, has not happened – and that is something we have achieved together.

Russia has not managed to break or divide us.

We have stood together, and showed that united we stand – and will continue to do so.

We here in Europe are trusted allies, and we can make decisions at the appropriate speed.

Because we are all driven by one clear goal: this war must be stopped.

Our unity and resolve truly are the one bright spot in this very dark moment.

I know Estonia is a forward-looking and future-oriented country. As a trailblazer, with one foot planted firmly in the future and both hands pulling others forward. For example when it comes to innovation and your impressive cyber capabilities.

I have great admiration for your country’s perseverance and resilience.

Here, the history of Soviet oppression is still a relatively recent memory. You are a front-line country, with the past on your doorstep.

The future may be uncertain, but be assured that the Netherlands will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with all our NATO allies. As you said, that is one of the reasons our troops are in Lithuania. They’re doing so for the safety of all the Baltic states and of our continent.

Eva [-Marie Liimets] Thank you very much for having me here, and for having this conversation in these challenging times.

I’m looking forward to our future cooperation.