Riigikogu speaker: Strong Estonia-Slovakia relations more crucial than ever
Strengthening relations between Estonia and Slovakia is more vital than ever given the two countries' shared values and shared stance on Russia's ongoing war of aggression in Ukraine, Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) says.
"We are ready to share our experience, but we are also interested in joint cooperation projects," Ratas said, via a Riigikogu press release, highlighting the importance of strengthening mutual relations, more key than ever given Russia's continued war of aggression against Ukraine.
Ratas noted as one example of the Estonia-Slovakia relationship that he was: "Happy we have such excellent cooperation at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE), which Slovakia is one of the founding members of."
The CCDCOE is based in Tallinn, while Ratas made his remarks in the context of Prime Minister of Slovakia Eduard Heger's official visit to Estonia Friday, which Prime Minister Heger himself noted on his social media page was the first time a head of government from that country, a fellow NATO and EU member which also shares a border with Ukraine, had been involved in a bilateral visit in and with Estonia.
Ratas said that there is still more potential for strengthening the relations between the two countries through cooperation in digital economy, e-governance and cyber security, as well as in education while urgent, military, financial and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in all possible ways was vital both as winter approaches and with the longer-term reconstruction of the country in mind.
Ratas and Heger also talked about the reception of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine – which both countries have engaged in to a far greater extent than the EU average – and the reconstruction work in the Zhytomyr Oblast, which Estonia is actively engaged in.
Solutions to the current energy crisis, including using of renewable and nuclear energy, as well as support for consumers, businesses and local government, were also on the table at Friday's meeting.
Prime Minister Heger also appeared at a press conference with his Estonian counterpart Kaja Kallas (Reform) while in Tallinn Friday, in which both leaders stressed aid to Ukraine and bilateral cooperation at the NATO level.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Riigikogu Office