Foreign minister, Swedish parliament speaker discuss regional cooperation ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Swedish and Estonian flags
Swedish and Estonian flags Source: Riigikogu / Erik Peinar

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu, President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas and Speaker of the Riksdag (Parliament of Sweden) Andreas Norlen discussed closer relations between the two countries and security of the Baltic Sea region on Thursday.

Reinsalu (Isamaa) discussed bilateral relations and well as regional cooperation with Norlen.

He also thanked Norlen for the founding of the Swedish-Estonian Cooperation Fund where Estonia contributed €150,000 in 2019, and affirmed that Estonia saw great potential in the fund.

Economic ties with Sweden are very close, he said, however, they can be boosted further, including through digital cooperation. "We welcome Sweden to join the users of X-Road in order to develop cross-border data exchange," he noted.

Reinsalu presented Estonia's priorities as the coordinator of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) to Norlen and underscored the importance of the region for Estonia. They also discussed the Arctic Council, where Sweden is a member and Estonia is preparing to apply for observer status.  

The meeting also briefly touched upon the budget of the European Union and the EU's relations with China.  

Henn Põlluaas and Speaker of the Swedish Riksdag Andreas Norlen. Source: Riigikogu / Erik Peinar

Põlluaas (EKRE) thanked Sweden for its contribution to Estonia's UN Security Council membership campaign.

The meeting with the Speaker of the Riksdag and the delegation accompanying him was also attended by Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa, and Yoko Alender and Valdo Randpere, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Estonia-Sweden Parliamentary Group.

At the meeting, the security situation in the Baltic Sea region, the threat Russia poses to the region and the impact of information operations were discussed. The importance of the Arctic region and the increasing global influence of China were spoken about as well. The discussions also touched upon the creation of 5G network and the tunnel planned between Tallinn and Helsinki.

The meeting was followed by the discussion panel "Digital technology: managing possibilities and risks to our democracy".

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Editor: Helen Wright

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