Estonia and Finland to relaunch coronavirus joint committee ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu and Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto in Tallinn.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu and Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto in Tallinn. Source: Erlend Štaub / välisministeerium

Estonia and Finland will reopen a joint committee of officials for the purpose of exchanging coronavirus information and coordinating efforts to combat its spread, Estonian and Finnish foreign ministers said after meeting in Tallinn on Sunday. Pekka Haavisto said that Finland is not currently planning tougher travel restrictions for Estonia.

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said at the meeting's press conference: "I'm glad to announce we have agreed on reactivating the committee of officials tasked with introducing new trust measures to ensure maximally free movement of people between our two countries."

Haavisto repeated the sentiment, adding the two governments need to do their utmost to ensure free movement in both directions.

Reinsalu said he gave his Finnish colleague an overview of measures the Estonian government has planned for containing the spread of the virus, including testing at the airport and ports.

New future relations report to be put together

The foreign ministers also unveiled a plan for a new future Estonian-Finnish relations report.

"I'm glad we have reached an agreement for the creation of a joint committee, revisiting relations. The last such report was completed in 2008," Haavisto said, emphasizing that the aim of the report is to find avenues for new and closer cooperation.

Haavisto touched on Belarus

The Finnish foreign minister, who came direct from Lithuania where he met with his Lithuanian counterpart Linas Linkevicius and the Belarus opposition's presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, gave Reinsalu an overview of these meetings.

He said that Tsikhanouskaya asked for help launching a dialogue with the authorities in Belarus and that European countries have assured her of their support.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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