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Estonia won’t send Ukrainian conscription-age citizens home — PM Kallas

In Europe
January 14, 2024

Estonia has no plans to extradite conscription-eligible men from Ukraine who have received protection under European Union rules and are lawfully residing in the country, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in an interview with The Kyiv Independent on Jan. 13.

Read also: Defense Minister Umerov announces plans to draft Ukrainians living abroad

She mentioned discussing the conscription of Ukrainians in Estonia with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his visit to Tallinn on Jan. 11. Zelenskyy reiterated that there are people fighting, others paying taxes in Ukraine to support the fighters, and those residing in other countries like Estonia.

“For us, they have the right to be here if they follow the rules, if they have reached us, then the EU gives them temporary protection,” Kallas stated.

“So we will definitely not do anything on our side to give those people out. It is up to Ukraine to turn to the people who are here and request them to come back to help their motherland.”

According to international law, Ukraine cannot draft its citizens residing in Estonia without a separate bilateral agreement, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lauri Läänemets, said on Dec. 23, adding that Tallinn is willing to negotiate such an agreement.

Read also: Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi responds to proposals to conscript Ukrainians living abroad

Conscription of refugees

German newspapers Welt and Bild on Dec. 21 published an interview with Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Rustem Umerov, expressing Ukraine’s desire to draft men aged 25 to 60 living abroad for military service starting in 2024.

However, the department later stated that such discussions are not currently on the agenda.

Germany has indicated that it will not compel Ukrainians to return home and fight in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Read also: Bill on mobilization of Ukrainians abroad to be ready in January

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine

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