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    Estonian PM calls for Russian gas bills to fund Ukrainian reconstruction

Summary

Kallas wants EU payments for Russian gas to be placed in a escrow account.

by: NGW

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Estonian PM calls for Russian gas bills to fund Ukrainian reconstruction

Estonian prime minister Kaja Kallas called on March 24 for EU payments for Russian gas to be placed in an escrow account, to prevent those revenues financing Moscow's war in Ukraine. She also proposed that a significant share of these revenues could go towards Ukraine's post-war reconstruction.

In an opinion piece published by the New York Times, Kallas said there can be no return to "business as usual" with Russia in the wake of the invasion. Rather, there should be "no business at all," she said. She said that providing defensive military aid to Ukraine should be a top priority, and that EU member states should boost defence spending to 2% of GDP. There should also be more combat-ready NATO troops permanently based in the Baltic States, supported by long-range artillery and air defence, she said.

The West must "paralyse Putin's war machine," she said. 

"Oil and gas are at its heart. We should set up a special third-party account to prevent revenues from going towards financing the war. A significant share would got to the future reconstruction plan for Ukraine," she said in a summary on social media.