Prime minister: Poland remains key ally for Estonia

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Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) talking to her Polish opposite number, Mateusz Morawiecki, on the waterfront in Porto, Portugal Saturday. Source: Government Office

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says Poland remains a strong and viable ally for Estonia, both in infrastructure and security arenas, as well as in business.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says Poland remains a strong and viable ally for Estonia, both in infrastructure and security arenas, as well as in business.

The EU leaders are expected to adopt the Porto declaration, codifying their stance.

The European Pillar of Social Rights was also on the table at the summit, which saw Kallas meet with a host of leaders, in addition to her Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Kallas said Poland is a close strategic ally, both in terms of security and the economy, as well as in relation to infrastructure projects such as Rail Baltica.

She said: "We want to strengthen our renewable energy cooperation with Poland and thus, I have invited Poland to join the development of the Baltic Sea maritime network project."

"We have shared climate concerns and we agree that the new climate framework must be affordable and realistic for everyone and support the necessary investments," Kallas went on, adding that Poland significantly contributes to the security of the region through NATO's Baltic air policing mission and joint exercises.

Poland is a NATO member and also hosts a NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup similar to Estonia's, one which is U.S.-led.

Kallas also looked forward to June's NATO summit, in particular hoping both the security situation vis-a-vis Russia, and the alliance's strategic partnership with the EU remained in focus.

"We need to jointly underline the importance of the United States' military presence in Europe and we highly appreciate US units' rotation in our region," Kallas said, extending an invitation to the Polish prime minister to attend a digital and innovation summit to be held in Estonia in September.

Saturday's talks concentrated on recovery from the pandemic and beyond, including in the areas of education, jobs and improve job quality, poverty and social exclusion, and the overall disruption the coronavirus has brought to Europe, all in the light of the union's social rights pillar.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights at the 2017 Gothenburg Summit.

The Pillar sets out 20 key principles in three main categories - equal opportunities and access to the labor market, fair working conditions, social protection and inclusion, BNS reports.

While Kallas is due to return to Estonia Saturday evening, meetings with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Spanish Prime minister Pedro Sanchez were also penciled in, as was the India-EU Leaders' video-linked meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which aimed to discuss strengthening cooperation between the EU and India, as well as the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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