Visiting Stockholm on Thursday, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid emphasized the close relations and good mutual understanding between Estonia and Sweden.
"There are not many countries who understand Estonians as well as Swedish people do," Kaljulaid said following meetings with Swedish leaders. "The economies of Sweden and Estonia are closely intertwined, as are the histories of thousands of our families.
Apart from economic issues, other topics discussed at the meetings included the future of Europe, bilateral defense cooperation, Estonia's priorities for its upcoming presidency of the EU as well as the importance of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.
Kaljulaid said that Estonians and Swedes share a very similar understanding of the world. While they have chosen slightly different paths toward securing peace — with Estonia being a member of NATO and Sweden not — the two countries nonetheless share the same values. "The same can be said about the Eastern Partnership and matters related to Ukraine," she added.
On her trip, the Estonian president also had a meeting with the heads of large Swedish enterprises on a Tallink ship.
"Sweden is the largest investor in and export market for Estonia," Kaljulaid said following the meeting. "The dynamics of these relationships have of course changed somewhat — having started out as a country offering cheap labor, we have now reached the position of an equal partner — but relations remain just as strong. Companies in both countries are seeking new cooperation models and succeeding in finding them."
During her first working visit to Sweden, the President of Estonia met with King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström and SPeaker of the Riksdag Urban Ahlin. In the afternoon, the Estonian president also visited an Estonian school in Stockholm. On Wednesday, Kaljulaid met with representatives of the Estonian community in Sweden.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla