Rõivas: Estonia and Finland more important to one another than ever before
Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said at his meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in Tallinn on Thursday that the two neighboring countries are more important to one another than ever before.
At their meeting, Rõivas and Sipilä discussed how to provide an additional boost to the growth of the two countries' economies via joint projects.
"Our two countries' ever-closer cooperation in developing energy and transport connections and digital services means that the people and economies of Estonia and Finland are more interconnected and the two countries more important to one another than ever before," spokespeople for the Estonian government quoted Rõivas as saying. "When one of us is doing well, the other will also do well."
According to Rõivas, the Balticconnector financing agrement recently signed in Brussels was a good example of the two countries' cooperation.
On the subject of transport connections, the Estonian prime minister said that they should not be afraid of such ambitious projects as the proposed Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel. "It would be unparalleled in the world, connecting two capitals and creating a twin city with over two million residents," Rõivas said, adding that the tunnel would contribute to the economic growth of both countries as well as be a logical continuation and value-adding asset to the Rail Baltic project.
Likewise discussed at the prime ministers' meeting was the two countries' cooperation in the digital field. Rõivas and Sipilä signed a cooperation agreement in May introducing data exchanges and cross-border e-services between Estonia and Finland.
Sipilä: Finland interested in Rail Baltic, cross-gulf tunnel
Rõivas invited Finland to join the Rail Baltic project, stressing the fact that as a joint venture partner, Finland would have the opportunity to be directly involved in the large-scale international railway project's development.
The Finnish prime minister found his Estonian counterpart's proposals intriguing, however he found that there were as of yet too few economic calculations done on the subject. According to Sipilä, Finland is interested in Rail Baltic, however a prerequisite for this would be the building of the tunnel connecting Helsinki and Tallinn.
"With regard to Rail Baltic, the tunnel project connecting two capitals to one another would be terrific, but let us calmly consider whether the economic preconditions exist for it," said Sipilä.