Reinsalu: the EU must expand sanctions on Russia due to its actions in Ukraine

This evening, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu will take part in the reception in Helsinki dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

During the festive dinner at Finlandia Talo, the foreign minister intends to discuss with his colleagues the latest developments in the fields of artificial intelligence and the protection of human rights and state the position of Estonia on the issue of Russia’s membership in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

“On this anniversary we must remember why the Council of Europe was established: to defend democracy and human rights,” said Urmas Reinsalu prior to attending the event. “It is impossible to ensure democratic security when we ignore the principles of the rule of law. The need to protect these values internationally and jointly has not decreased at all.”

“These duties must be fulfilled by all member states, including Russia,” he stressed. “We cannot disregard Russia’s continuing aggression in Ukraine and the deteriorating situation in the occupied areas in Ukraine and Georgia. I plan to substantiate this view with my colleagues tonight.”

The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949 to defend and promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy. Today, the Council of Europe has 47 member states and provides protection of rights to approximately 830 million people. The Council of Europe comprises two bodies: the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The European Court of Human Rights, established pursuant to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, issues verdicts on the alleged violations of the citizens’ rights listed in the convention and the transnational disputes between the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. Estonia joined the Council of Europe on 14 May 1993.