Zelenskyy visiting Estonia: We need those who fled abroad to return to Ukraine
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of men in the mobilization age who left the country to come back, either to contribute to Ukraine's economy or to join the fight against Russia.
"We've noticed people who left the country against Ukrainian rules. If these men are of mobilization age, they should be in Ukraine helping. I'm not discussing who should be on the front line – we have laws for that. It's about ethics and morals," Zelenskyy stated during a press conference with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in Tallinn.
Zelenskyy highlighted the financial aspect, mentioning that it takes the contributions of six to eight taxpayers to support one soldier on the front lines.
"Even if you're not on the front lines but working and paying taxes in Ukraine, you're contributing and defending the country. This is crucial," Zelenskyy added.
He addressed concerns about Ukrainians abroad who are of mobilization age and not paying taxes in Ukraine. However, he did not directly comment on whether Estonia should extradite such individuals. Estonian ministers have expressed their willingness to send Ukrainians back.
"If we want to save Ukraine and Europe, we all need to think about how we're helping. Whether we are citizens on the battlefield or citizens working and paying taxes, otherwise, there won't be enough funds for the military, and Ukraine will be left defenseless," Zelenskyy emphasized.
Zelenskyy expressed gratitude to Estonia and its people for their support against Russian aggression and their backing of Ukraine's aspirations to join the European Union and NATO.
He commended Estonia's role as an example for other countries to support Ukraine. Estonia has provided military assistance totaling around 1.4 percent of its GDP, approximately €80 million. Estonia committed to providing 0.25 percent of its GDP over the next four years as long-term military assistance to Ukraine, urging other supporting nations to make similar commitments for a decisive victory for Ukraine, according to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.