The issue of the possible return to their homeland of Ukrainian citizens of mobilization age living in Estonia is quite complicated. This was acknowledged on December 28 by Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Leaenemets on the eve of the Christmas holidays.
«It is important to emphasize unequivocally: as the Minister of Internal Affairs or the Estonian state, of course, I have no goal to start driving Ukrainian men of mobilization age living here to the front,» the portal quotes the Interior Minister Rus.err.ee .
At the same time, Ukrainians living in Estonia are still citizens of their country, and if Ukraine decides to return them home through mobilization, Tallinn will have to share information with Kiev about the whereabouts of such persons, said Leaenemets. The Interior Minister noted that currently Ukraine really needs the help of its citizens at the front, but international law does not allow Estonia to extradite foreigners of mobilization age.
«This requires a separate agreement between the countries and at least a decision at the government level. This is only the decision of the Ukrainian state: who, when and whether it is worth calling at all. Then there will be a separate discussion at the government level about how Estonia will behave in this matter and how it can help Ukraine,» the minister said.
The minister believes that Ukrainians living in the country need to give a clear signal that Estonia itself will not drive anyone away and will not work on sending refugees to the front.
Prior to that, on December 22, Leaenemets stated that Estonia was ready to search for and extradite Ukrainians of mobilization age in the Estonian state to Ukraine. He noted that Estonia has repeatedly wanted to conclude an agreement with Ukraine on the extradition of the escaped men.
On December 26, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a new bill on mobilization in the country. According to the document, it is supposed to exclude military service as a type, and to dismiss all conscripts to the reserve. In addition, it is proposed to remove the category of limited fitness for military service, and all those already recognized as limited fit for military service will be required to undergo a medical examination again. In addition, they want to introduce basic combined arms training for all citizens of Ukraine aged 18 to 25 years.
On December 21, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said that Ukrainians aged 25 to 60 who currently live in Germany and are fit for military service should also join the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in 2024.