The European Union has a “moral duty” to make Ukraine a member state and should consider using military force to counter Russian aggression, according to Kaja Kallas, the prime minister of Estonia.
Speaking at the European Parliament's monthly plenary sessions in Strasbourg, Kallas said that the EU has “changed more in one week than in 30 years” and called for Brussels to invest in state-of-the-art defence technology.
“In stepping up European defence, we must find consensus within the EU that, sometimes, the best way of achieving peace is the willingness to use military force,” she said.
Ukraine has requested fast-track membership of the EU following the Russian invasion of the country. In the weeks since, both Moldova and Georgia have also requested membership.
The EU voted overwhelmingly last week to condemn the Russian invasion and also in favour of Ukraine being granted candidate status, but the process of accession is long and complicated. Nations in the Western Balkans have been negotiating on membership for more than a decade.
As EU ambassadors sign off on a new wave of sanctions against Russia today, Kallas also apologised to ordinary Russians that have borne the brunt of ‘Putin’s war’.
“None of this is directed against you, we understand it hurts you but it also hurts us too. This autocrat does not care for the people, he only cares for power,” she said.
Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, blamed himself for not doing enough and not being quick enough in telling the parliament that the price of war will be long-lasting.
He called on Europeans to play their part in weaning off Europe’s Russian gas addiction.
“European citizens need to turn the heat down in their houses. Everyone needs to make an effort. In the same way you would use less water if there was a drought. The same way we wore masks,” he said.