Estonia is considering the possibility of implementing new projects to restore the destroyed infrastructure and is also looking for opportunities to expand economic cooperation with Ukraine. This was discussed during a meeting of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko with a delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Margus Tsahkna.
"First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the outstanding level of support for Ukraine in providing military, financial and humanitarian aid. Thanks to the assistance of our partners, especially such good friends as Estonia, Ukraine demonstrates that it can maintain stability even in the face of total aggression.
Now the issues of economic recovery are of utmost importance to us. And we invite Estonian businesses to invest in Ukraine, including in logistics, energy, processing, and IT. To implement these plans, we need to introduce effective instruments of war risk insurance. And if Estonia, through its export credit agency KredEx, insures not only Estonian but also Ukrainian investments, we will thereby encourage the creation of many joint Ukrainian-Estonian enterprises. We don't know how long the war will last, so we need to learn to fight, work and live all at once," stressed Svyrydenko.
According to her, a special priority for the Ministry of Economy is now the humanitarian demining of Ukrainian lands. Currently, 174,000 square kilometers of Ukraine's territory are potentially contaminated with explosives, including the temporarily occupied territories.
"Ukraine is now a large field for testing both military equipment and demining machines. And these areas are developing very quickly. For example, last year we did not have a single manufacturer of heavy demining machines. So we imported them from Croatia and Slovakia. And today we are already producing such machines in Ukraine. We are now trying to develop drones with a scanner that will help us identify plastic mines. If Estonian business is ready to join development of such solutions, we invite it to Ukraine," assured Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The parties also discussed the possibility of involving Estonia in co-financing direct support programs for small and medium-sized businesses and a number of social projects.
Estonia began providing military assistance to our country before the start of russia's large-scale war against Ukraine, which influenced the combat operations in the first weeks of the war. The Estonian government has contributed more than EUR 400 million in military aid, which is more than 1% of Estonia's GDP. As of today, Estonia has already provided 16 military aid packages to Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the russian aggression against Ukraine, Estonia has already provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the amount of EUR 24.6 million, of which governmental aid is EUR 5.6 million and private aid is EUR 19.0 million.
The Estonian side is rendering assistance in the post-war reconstruction of Zhytomyr region and focuses on two areas: repair and construction of public buildings and rehabilitation of affected women and children (in 2022, EUR 1.98 million were allocated for recovery purposes).