Baltic prime ministers call for EU to speed up coronavirus vaccine rollout

The prime minister of the Baltic states with their joint agreement.
The prime minister of the Baltic states with their joint agreement. Source: Stenbock House.

The prime ministers of the Baltic states have called for the European Union to speed up the supply of vaccines for countries with a higher need and greater vaccine capacity. They also discussed vaccine passports.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte, and Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins issued a joint statement.

Kallas said that joint procurement of vaccines in the European Union is very important for small countries.

"Efforts of the European Commission to coordinate the whole pandemic, and in particular the negotiations with vaccine manufacturers, are crucial. Unfortunately, the current uncertainty of delivery schedules affects the entire course of vaccination and shakes confidence," said Kallas.

"It is therefore very important that we have greater confidence that the vaccines will reach us and that, in exceptional cases, we will be able to reorganise supplies flexibly. In the long term, the plan of the European Commission to distribute vaccines would remain in place, but a transparent mechanism for targeting vaccines to areas of greatest need would help halt the spread of the virus across Europe."

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen also attended the first half of the meeting where the fight against the coronavirus, the introduction of vaccine certificates, Rail Baltic project and the synchronisation of electricity networks were discussed.

Kallas also thanked Latvia and Lithuania for their offers of assistance to the Estonian health care sector.

The prime ministers also discussed the situation in Belarus and ways to support the opposition, relations with the Eastern Partnership countries and the need to intensify defence co-operation between the three Baltic States. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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