The EU and the new U.S. administration must maintain a common understanding when dealing with external risks, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) told CNBC on Friday.
Ratas said that he undertands that the U.S. intends to keep sanctions against Russia in place. "If we are talking [about] Crimea, it is very important that we have here this common understanding between the EU and the U.S.," he told the news channel.
U.S. President Donald Trump had previously criticized the preceding Obama administration for sanctions imposed on Russia for its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014. Trump has stated that he would be in favor of lifting the sanctions against Moscow if he were able to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction agreement.
Ratas dismissed any suggestion that the EU was concerned about a perceived improvement in diplomatic relations between the new U.S. administration and Russia. "We must be strong ourselves; we must have good relations between the EU and the U.S.," he commented.
According to Ratas, British Prime Minister Theresa May's recent visit to Washington and President Trump's phone calls with several world leaders have been good signs.
EU leaders met for a summit in Valletta, Malta on Friday to debte the future of the union.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla