Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets has rejected making any concessions to Russia under a threat of force, as Europe faces its biggest crisis since World War II amid simmering tensions over a possible Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

"I am absolutely convinced that we should not make any concessions in terms of European security architecture," Liimets said in a recent interview with Kyodo News, as the region faces "the most difficult security situation" since the world war ended in 1945.

Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets speaks in an interview with Kyodo News on Feb. 14, 2022, in Tallinn. (Kyodo)

Tensions remain high amid a Russian military buildup near its border with Ukraine, amassing as many as 190,000 troops. Possibly adding to fears of an invasion, Belarus has also said Russian forces will stay in the country beyond the scheduled end of their joint drills on Sunday.

Belarus also neighbors Ukraine and has close ties with Moscow.

In the event of an invasion, Liimets said, "When it comes to the EU and NATO member states, I believe that we are well-prepared," referring to the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, of which Estonia is a member.

While Liimets said concerned parties are preparing for various scenarios, she expressed hope for a de-escalation of the situation through continued diplomatic efforts.

Her remarks came as the United States and its European allies ramp up diplomacy in trying to defuse tensions over the Eastern European country, while warning Russia of massive consequences, including financial and economic sanctions, should it invade.

On sanctions Russia would face, Liimets said, "I am sure that they know that by now," and that Europe has been prepared militarily and economically to deal with Russia following its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Having met in Munich over the weekend, foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized countries -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States as well as the European Union -- have warned Russia it would incur "severe and unprecedented costs" should there be further aggression against Ukraine.

They also demanded that Russia "take up the offer of dialogue" with Washington and NATO.

NATO's eastward expansion has been criticized by Russia as threatening its security, with Moscow seeking security guarantees that Ukraine will not join the military alliance.

Estonia, a former Soviet republic and one of the three Baltic states, finally put to rest its own border dispute with Russia by signing a 2014 treaty, although it has yet to be ratified by their parliaments.

Citing Estonia's negotiations with Russia, Liimets said, "We have been patient and we believe you have to be patient."

Japan has a decades-old row over the sovereignty of a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido. The dispute has prevented Tokyo and Moscow from concluding a postwar peace treaty.

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