Reinsalu discusses Finland-Estonia relations and exit plan with committee

Finnish and Estonian flags.
Finnish and Estonian flags. Source: Riigikogu.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) outlined the crisis exit plan to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu on Monday and discussed Finnish-Estonian relations.

At the video sitting of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu today, Reinsalu gave the Committee an overview of the action plan of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for exiting the crisis.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa said the main topics discussed at the sitting had been the contacts between Estonia and Finland, the opening of borders and international movement of people.

"As regards the discussion on travelling between Estonia and Finland, it is positive that both countries share a common position that constant exchange of information on public health, on application of various measures as well as on the opinions of health experts is important. It is also good to hear that there is a wish to establish common clear positions on the movement of people and, for example, on the conditions for entering the country for nationals of third countries," Eesmaa added.

Deputy Chairman of the Committee Marko Mihkelson raised a question about the latest foreign policy positions and developments of Estonia, and emphasised the importance of good relations between Finland and Estonia.

"Finland and other Nordic Countries are our closest neighbours, like the Baltic States. However, the relations between Estonia and Finland at the moment are not what the relations between two very close nations should be like, in particular at the government level," Mihkelson said.

Reinsalu told the committee it is important for Estonia to restore the labour migration between Finland and Estonia as the first step in international travelling.

Several trust measures and ways for mitigating the risks connected with the spread of the virus have been proposed for that. The minister said that the negotiations between the two countries would continue when there was additional information from the Government of Finland on possible easing of restrictions.

Labor migration between the two countries has been halted during the emergency situation after Finland backed out of an agreement which would have allowed Estonians to move between the two countries without undertaking a quarantine period in Finland. Thousands of Estonians move between the two countries to live and work.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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