Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said he appreciated the UK's contribution to Estonia's security and that he thinks the country "should become a very special partner and a close ally to the EU after Brexit" during a one-day visit by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday.
"I think the United Kingdom should become a very special partner and a close ally to the EU after Brexit, and that is something we are all working towards. We wish to have the closest possible relationship in all areas, especially in the fields of foreign, defence, and security policy, as well as economics and education," said Ratas.
Ratas emphasised the importance of defence cooperation in relations between Estonia and the United Kingdom. "We greatly appreciate the United Kingdom's contribution to the security of NATO in the Baltic Sea region. British military support can be traced back to the Estonian War of Independence and this summer, their units were represented in Estonia on land, in air, and on the sea."
Ratas stressed that London recently hosted a meeting of NATO leaders, where the allies displayed unity and solidarity.
In addition, the prime ministers discussed digital and cyber cooperation. "We see untapped opportunities here and want to develop this collaboration further. I also invited Prime Minister Johnson to the digital summit next autumn and to the meeting of the prime ministers of Nordic and Baltic countries and Ireland before that to jointly discuss cooperation in finding solutions in the fields of e-health and European health data management," said Ratas.
Ratas also spoke about cooperation in the field of higher education. "The United Kingdom is a very popular destination for our students and it is important that their situation would not worsen after Brexit," he said. Heads of government also spoke about climate change and the UN climate conference that will take place in Glasgow next year.
Johnson was on a one-day trip to Estonia where he met with soldiers at Tapa military campus and served them lunch.
There are approximately 800 British troops at Tapa from the Queen's Royal Hussars serving in the NATO battlegroup alongside personnel from Estonia, France and Denmark.
The United Kingdom is a framework nation in NATO's battle group at Tapa, and British fighters were on NATO's Baltic air-policing mission at Ämari from May to September.
Editor: Helen Wright