Rõivas: Supporting Eastern partners is the most important European security challenge
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, who was on a working visit in Brussels on Tuesday, met with Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, and Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, to discuss Russian sanctions, security, energy and digital single market, as well as the challenges faced by eurozone.
Rõivas emphasized during the meeting that as Russia has not met all the conditions stipulated in the Minsk Agreement, the EU has no other choice but to continue with the economic sanctions against the country.
Prime Minister said that with regards to the Eastern Partnership Summit that is currently held in Riga, it is essential to use the remaining weeks in order to take concrete steps towards visa freedom for Georgia and Ukraine, adding that support for Eastern partners is crucial.
At the meeting with Juncker, the main focus was on the integration of the energy market into European market in order to warrant energy security. “Given the current security situation, Baltic region’s energy independence from Russian market is of strategic importance for the whole of Europe,” Rõivas said. “Support given by the European Commission to large-scale energy projects, for example, Balticconnector, as well as the electric power and gas connections between Poland and the Baltic States, is important for us,” he added.
Rõivas also raised the question of air pollution limits suggested by the Commission. “In Estonia, the situation of air quality is among the best in the world. We have put the emphasis on a wider use of domestic renewable energy, including using solid biomass for the energy and heat production. European Union has set a goal of reducing the share of fossil fuels and environmental and climate policies of the Union must support each other.”