Ratas meets with Finnish prime minister on first foreign visit (1)
On his first visit abroad, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) stressed the importance of Estonia’s relationship with Finland, and the need that both countries continue to work on bilateral projects. He also thanked his Finnish counterpart, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, for his personal contribution to the countries’ joint infrastructure projects.
Ratas said that cooperation between Estonia and Finland should intensify, as both economies would profit from that. “If one of us is doing great, so will the other, and close cooperation can boost both economies,” Ratas was quoted in a government press release on Thursday.
The ongoing cooperation in the area of information technology and communications was a good example how it was possible to work towards a common goal. The prime minister also referred to the progress of bilateral infrastructure projects, such as the Baltic Connector gas pipeline, the financing agreement for which was signed on Oct. 21 this year.
Ratas thanked Finnish prime minister Juha Sipilä for his personal contribution in advancing the project.
The prime ministers also discussed the upcoming meeting of the European Council, and issues of regional security in the Baltic Sea area.
“Estonia and Finland have a similar understanding of the security environment surrounding us,” Ratas said, adding that Estonia valued the contribution of Finland to increasing security both worldwide, for example with the joint Finnish-Estonian mission in Lebanon, as well as locally.
“The European Union’s policy regarding Russia can only be effective if we stand united. We expect Russia to adhere to the Minsk agreements as well as respect the independence and sovereignty of its neighbors,” Ratas was quoted saying.
On Friday Ratas will meet with his Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues at the meeting of the Baltic prime ministers, to take place in Riga. The meeting will focus on joint projects of the Baltic states.