Estonian and Swedish Prime Ministers Meet Ahead of EU Summit
Although Estonian and Swedish prime ministers met for the third time in two weeks, today's visit by Stefan Löfven to Tallinn was his first official bilateral meeting with Estonia's Taavi Rõivas. The prime ministers discussed the security of the Baltic Sea region, economic cooperation and, ahead of the EU summit on Wednesday, their respective positions on planned EU policies.
Estonian Prime Minister Rõivas said that Estonian and Swedish positions on security policy are traditionally similar and they see the current threats in the same way. The newly elected Swedish prime minister added that Sweden is very much interested in continuing and improving security and defense cooperation with Estonia and NATO, although it does not plan to join the latter and has a very clear stand on Article Five.
Löfven also said that the Swedish Parliament intends to increase its defense spending and develop some strategic areas, especially naval and aviation capacity, by approving the purchase of more submarines and fighter aircraft.
In terms of economic cooperation, Sweden continues to be Estonia's most important partner: 26.5 percent of all foreign investments came from Sweden last year and more than 17 percent of Estonian export went there. Löfven said Sweden is mostly interested in enhancing digital cooperation and although Sweden has a trade deficit with Estonia, he sees clear potential in improving business contacts between the two countries as well.
Rõivas said that he also introduced his Swedish colleague to Estonian policies on oil shale production and they both hope that the upcoming EU summit comes to an agreement on climate policy, viewing oil shale production as competitive and environmentally friendly.