President Karis: Strengthening connections with Finland important

President Alar Karis spoke at his first official visit to Finland on Tuesday and said strengthening different connections, such as cables, pipelines and language learning, between the two states is important.

Karis met with Finnish president Sauli Niinistö and the meeting took longer than expected, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported. The presidents said communication between the two countries is active in multiple sectors, starting from digital cooperation to common creative projects in the film sector.

"The necessary infrastructure already exists for digital cooperation between Estonia and Finland. The X-Road solution has activated data exchange between business registries and cross-border digital prescriptions. We should use the existing infrastructure as much as possible and continue developing it. For example, we are currently developing data exchange between tax authorities and allowing for communication between population registries, but there are certainly more cooperation possibilities, which would make the lives of our people simpler," Karis said.

Both presidents confirmed that the situation between the two countries is good, but the spread of the coronavirus is worrying.

"What worries? Surely the Covid situation, which we discussed quite a lot. It is worse now in Estonia, but it is not good in Finland either. We have to take it seriously, very seriously, and behave cautiously," Niinistö said.

Karis said he is glad to see how Finland has handled the coronavirus and he also acknowledged Finnish politicians for remaining consistent in their vaccination communication, which has certainly affected Finland's vaccination rates.

The two heads of state also spoke security and energy cooperation. "European security was also discussed. We both have Russia neighboring us, also the Russian position was very much discussed, especially when I am going to visit Moscow on Friday," the Finnish president said.

"It is very important to strengthen all the connections between us - from cables and pipelines to language learning. We are too small to be alone, we have to stick together. Therefore I hope that we will also tighten our already very well-functioning energy cooperation,"

Karis said the two countries could go forward with developing off-shore wind energy and connecting gas and electricity retail markets. The Estonian president also said Finland has been successful in building bridges in global politics and has helped in creating balanced dialogue.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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