Foreign minister wants to restart 'Baltic travel bubble' negotiations

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Flags of the three Baltic States. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) is seeking a mandate from the government to restart negotiations to restore the Baltic travel bubble between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The goal of the discussions, which could start next week, will aim to understand how Latvia and Lithuania see future opportunities. Liimets said the time is right to start negotiations because the three countries have similar infection rates.

"It is not yet at the right level to fully open up societies, but the time is right to start preparations and discuss how this would be possible," she told ERR on Wednesday.

"These discussions will look to the future because it must be taken into account that week by week more and more people are being vaccinated in our societies," she said.

Liimets said it is too early to say if the travel bubble, which allowed free movement between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania last summer and fall, will be recreated in exactly the same way. She said a timeframe could not be discussed until the first meeting has been held.

The minister also discussed coronavirus passports and the EU's effort which is due to be introduced in June. She said Estonia is willing to take part in a pilot project to speed up their introduction.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry also confirmed to LRT English that "preparations are ongoing for discussions about the possible restoration of the Baltic 'travel bubble'".

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Editor: Helen Wright

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