Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) is visiting Paris today, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron to secure co-operation between Estonia and France, especially in the field of security and defence
"France is a very good friend and strategic partner to Estonia, with whom we have close cooperation in many areas, both bilaterally and in the European Union and NATO. With the declaration of strategic relations to be signed today, we want to further intensify the cooperation with France," said the prime minister.
"We understand the importance of close cooperation particularly well at this difficult time, when we are dealing with the health crisis caused by the pandemic. While protecting the lives and health of our people and relaunching the European economy, we must also address the issues that determine the future of the people of Europe. Security concerns in Europe's immediate neighbourhood also need our attention," said Ratas.
Ratas and Macron will discuss the co-operation of Estonian units with France to ensure security and stability in Mali. The French Armed Forces ensure NATO's security in our region by contributing to both the NATO battlegroup and the air policing rotations in Estonia. France announced in September that it would rejoin the NATO battlegroup in Tapa in 2021.
The meeting will also address issues of importance to Europe, including the health crisis caused by the pandemic and economic coping. The fight against climate change and the digital revolution will also be discussed. On foreign affairs, the prime minister and the president will talk about the developments in Europe's immediate neighbourhood, including the situation in Belarus, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, relations with Russia, and tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.
After the meeting, Ratas and Macron will sign a declaration on the strategic partnership between Estonia and France. Within this framework, Estonia and France intend to further strengthen their close relations and intensify international co-operation, including in the EU and NATO. The prime minister and the president will then issue a press release.
In the afternoon, Prime Minister Ratas will have a roundtable meeting with Estonian and French entrepreneurs, the aim of which is to look for new opportunities to strengthen business relations. The Estonian companies Guardtime and Magnetic MRO and the representatives of the French companies Airbus, Eolane, and MBDA, as well as the French Ministry of Health, will take part in it.
Editor: Helen Wright