Baltic: Ukraine’s President Zelensky stresses “shared trust” on Baltic tour

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has concluded a two-day official visit to the three Baltic States. At a press conference with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Zelensky said that his visit underscored the “shared trust” between nations in Russia’s neighbourhood, BNS reported. Speaking to a large crowd outside the Presidential Palace in Vilnius, Zelensky said that Russia only brought “misfortune and subjugation” and wanted to occupy all of Ukraine and erase its culture. He warned that after Ukraine, Russia could attack or threaten the Baltic States, Finland, Moldova, or Uzbekistan. However, Zelensky assured that there would not be a “day after Ukraine,” but a day after the war and after Putin. He said that neither Ukraine nor Lithuania would allow Russia to destroy their statehood, noting that Ukraine had proved that Russia can be stopped. Ukraine would “never again be hostage to geography,” Zelensky vowed.

In the Estonian capital, Tallinn, Zelensky gave an address at the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, ERR reported. Zelensky predicted that the battle for Ukraine would determine global attitudes towards freedom for generations. “Tyranny must always lose” and “freedom must learn to win,” he stated. He urged Europe’s defence industry to start operating at full capacity. Speaking after a meeting with Estonian President Alar Karis, Zelensky argued that a ceasefire at this point would not provide any opportunity for political dialogue or bring peace but would only give Russia time to recover. Speaking at a press conference with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Zelensky highlighted Estonia’s role as an example in encouraging hesitant countries to support Ukraine. Also, he insisted that Ukrainian men of mobilisation age needed to return home.

Speaking to Baltic journalists on the last stop of his Baltic tour in Latvia’s capital, Riga, Zelensky stressed that for Ukraine to endure, Russia must not be allowed to freeze the war and prepare for another major offensive, Ukrinform reported. He warned that Russia was trying to spread propaganda narratives through European and US media platforms. “In war, we are realists, but with a sense of optimism,” Zelensky stated. The West must show Moscow that it is not afraid of Russia, he insisted, urging that the next NATO summit in Washington take a real step towards Ukraine’s membership in the alliance. Zelensky reiterated his call for Europe to be self-sufficient in defence. He pledged that Ukraine would make every possible effort, together with its partners, to build a new European arsenal. Cooperation in defence production will eventually provide results to prevent Russia’s aggression against Europe, the President concluded.