Kaljulaid discusses coronavirus crisis with President of Finland ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking on the phone to President Sauli Niinistö.
President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking on the phone to President Sauli Niinistö. Source: Office of the President.

On Tuesday, President Kersti Kaljualid discussed the coronavirus crisis with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö by telephone and what the movement restrictions mean for both countries.

During the crisis and emergency situation, Kaljulaid has not been receiving guests or going on official visits, but work has continued via telephone and video chat both domestically and internationally.

Tuesday morning, the two presidents shared concerns about the ongoing crisis and how Finland and Estonia can support each other.

Writing on Facebook, Kaljulaid said: "Some virus tests taken in Finland are analyzed in Synlab (in Estonia), while Finland helps Estonia to obtain personal protective equipment. Despite the crisis, it is important to ensure that our citizens return home smoothly and that goods move smoothly."

Almost all passenger movement between the two countries will cease on April 11 until May 13. Finland is no longer allowing entry into Finland for ferry passengers to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Cargo transportation and transport of cargo drivers, crew, essential vessel maintenance staff and shipyard employees will continue on all routes as previously.

A spokesman for the Finnish government told ERR News on Tuesday morning that in the future they look forward to welcoming Estonians again: "After such difficult times we will be more than happy to welcome our Estonian friends, as we hope that Finns are again welcome to Estonia."

The president had a video conference on Tuesday with members of the Estonian Employers' Confederation. She wrote on Facebook they discussed the movement of labor and short-term workers, Kredex and the government's €2 billion package for the coronavirus' impact on the economy.

President Kersti Kaljulaid in a video meeting with members of the Estonian Employers' Confederation. Source: Office of the President.

On Monday, Kaljulaid spoke with managers of Estonia's largest hospitals about the situation in both, she said there was some good news in that issues around the supply of personal protective have been solved. She also spoke to the head of Synlab, a laboratory analysing coronavirus tests.

President Kersti Kaljulaid in a video meeting with managers of Estonian hospitals. Source: Office of the President.

Last week, the president spoke with Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Jose Angel Gurria, Director-General of the OECD.

A message about the meeting posted on her Facebook page said: "The crisis is changing the world. But Estonia can be an example for the world during and after the crisis: for example, we talked to the Director General of the WHO about Estonia's experience in the field of e-health, and again to the Director General of the OECD about the Estonian tax system and the future (digital) labor market."

President Kersti Kaljulaid speaking with representatives from WHO and the OECD. Source: Office of the President.

In previous weeks, Kaljulaid has also held meetings with other world leaders online or by phone.

On April 1, Kaljualid spoke with the presidents of Slovenia and Iceland and wrote that countries have a lot to learn from each other when it comes to tackling the current crisis. The photographs posted were from previous visits.

Kaljulaid discussed cargo movement and other subjects with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen.

She thanked German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for helping to get Estonian's back to their homeland.

She also sent condolences to Italy while speaking to President Sergio Mattarella. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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