Kersti Kaljulaid: Polish-Estonian relations strong, Belarus progress needed ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

President Kersti Kaljulaid meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the Three Seas Virtual Summit in Tallinn on Monday.
President Kersti Kaljulaid meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the Three Seas Virtual Summit in Tallinn on Monday. Source: Three Seas

President Kersti Kaljulaid met her Polish opposite number Andrzej Duda in Tallinn Monday, on the sidelines of the Three Seas Virtual Summit taking place in the capital.

The pair focused on bilateral relations, Belarus, NATO and the outcome of the Three Seas Summit itself, the president's office says.

Poland was one of the initiators of the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) – the framework for making the necessary digital, energy and transport investments into the 12 countries that make up the region – and as such President Duda thanked President Kaljulaid for Estonia's leadership as 3SI host nation for what in many ways has been a tough year.

The 3SI, in tandem with the EU, can help the region bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic – which itself meant Duda was one of the few high-level participants attending in person – the pair thought.

President Kaljulaid also expressed her pleasure at Poland's air force being based at Ämari Air Base as part of NATO's Baltic Air Policing rotation, adding that they were always welcome back in future.

Belarus, a country which borders Poland and has plenty of historical and cultural links with its EU neighbor, was also under scrutiny, with both heads of state agreeing that Belarusians deserve democratic and free elections in the wake of August's presidential election which saw Alexander Lukashenko return for a sixth term after polls widely condemned as rigged.

Energy, transport and economic cooperation was also in focus, given Poland's relative size and the fact that it is, from among the Three Seas Region and the Central and Eastern European region as a whole, Estonia's most important trade partner.

President Duda was also set to open the re-established Polish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Monday.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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