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The Foreign Minister to Finland’s new Foreign Minister: Finland is a good friend to Estonia

03.06.2015

Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus met today in Tallinn with the new Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Timo Soini, to discuss bilateral relations between Estonia and Finland, as well as cooperation regionally and in the European Union. Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus congratulated Timo Soini on his new appointment and was pleased that her Finnish colleague came to visit Estonia after only a few days in office. “Estonia and Finland have well-established long-term cooperation in many areas. I am confident that our neighbourly relations will continue in the future as well,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

According to Pentus-Rosimannus, within Estonia’s and Finland’s cooperation, economic and energy issues, as well as cooperation in the IT field are of great importance. “The development of Finland’s and Estonia’s joint digital services and information exchange provide a range of new opportunities for citizens and businesses interacting very frequently between the two countries, but is also an important strategic development in the EU digital market which is fighting barriers.  The fewer barriers there are between countries of the European Union digital market, the more competitive we are, and I believe that Estonia and Finland have the opportunity to become a good example,” the Estonian Foreign Minister said and expressed hope that Finland will launch the X-Road before the year is through. “Our common goal would be to offer an X-Road type of solution to all of Europe,” Pentus-Rosimannus added.

On the subject of energy, the Estonian Foreign Minister emphasized the need to continue developing connections with Finland. “In order to guarantee the region’s energy security in is important that the construction of the Balticconnector gas pipeline connecting Finland’s and Estonia’s gas networks and the regional LNG terminal is begun as soon as possible,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

While discussing current EU topics, migration was discussed at length. According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, the European Union's strength lies in working together and in solidarity, and that is why Estonia does not wish to be watching from the side-lines while the migration problem is being discussed. “People fleeing war must naturally be helped as much as is feasible for a country, and as much as the country is able,” Pentus-Rosimannus said and added that Estonia is actively dealing with determining its capabilities for receiving refugees.

The Estonian and Finnish Foreign Ministers also discussed preparations for Estonia's presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2018. “Since Finland has held the presidency on two occasions, then the exchange of information with our neighbours is undoubtedly useful in preparing for our first presidency,” the Foreign Minister said to her Finnish colleague.

At today's meeting, the ministers also spoke about Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and stated that it is not possible to be satisfied with the non-compliance of the Minsk agreements. “There is no confirmation of an end to the aggression; instead we are continually receiving information of ceasefire violations. Up until now it is also not possible for Ukraine to control its borders. This means that in June sanctions must be extended,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

Timo Soini is the Foreign Minister of Finland’s new government. Finland's new government took office on May 29, 2015.

 

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