Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) met today with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Helsinki. The two Prime Ministers, along with several other leading politicians from Estonia and Finland also participated in an intergovernmental seminar on the future of Estonian-Finnish cooperation.
Kallas stressed, that in a security situation, which has changed dramatically, good neighbors need to cooperate even more closely.
During the meeting, the issues of energy and secure interconnections, international cooperation in support of Ukraine and holding Russia to account, were discussed, as was Finland's accession to NATO and defense cooperation.
"We are living in a radically changed security situation and one thing is clear: cooperation between good neighbors must become even better, bad connections such as dependence on Russian energy must be replaced with reliable ones," said Kallas.
According to Kallas, the LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) floating terminal on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, which has been completed at record speed, is an important milestone in ensuring the security of supplies in the region, and the Paldiski quay will serve as a back-up facility for the floating terminal if needed.
Kallas pointed out that ensuring sufficient energy supplies at affordable prices for individuals as well as businesses, is only possible through joint efforts, which need to be pursued bilaterally, through the establishment of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea region, and more widely across Europe.
"Efforts must continue across Europe to contain winter energy prices," Kallas said. "The recent steps agreed at the (European) Council, such as joint gas procurement, a new gas price index and the possibility of agreeing on a corridor for gas prices, have already generated a positive response on the markets. Joint action has an impact. It is important that the energy ministers now agree on the details quickly," the Prime Minister added.
Kallas said that defense and security issues are where the biggest leaps forward were taking place in relations between the two countries, particularly with Finland's imminent accession to NATO. "In the future, defense and security in its broadest sense, must be at the heart of our relations. Among other things, this means energy security, protection of critical infrastructure, cyber security and much more," Kallas said.
Speaking about support for Ukraine, Kallas stressed that as Russia's neighbors, Estonia and Finland both know the true face of the Kremlin and must do their utmost together to stop Russian aggression. "We see that Russia needs a break. To this end, it is currently pressuring Ukraine in every possible way, to enter into negotiations. However, the way to achieve peace is to help Ukraine push Russia out of its territory. The Ukrainians are skilled fighters, even in winter conditions, and they will continue to fight. Our military, economic, moral and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine must continue and grow," said Kallas.
During the joint Estonian-Finnish governmental seminar ways to further develop cooperation between Estonia and Finland were discussed. The aim is to make life easier for residents and businesses in Estonia and Finland, through for example data exchanges, increased possibilities to use each other's public services and simplified access to social benefits when moving between the two countries.
Met with @MarinSanna.— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) November 15, 2022
Russia counts on energy weapon but we'll emerge with even stronger connections between good neighbours.
Security and defence will be at the core of our relations.
Estonia and Finland are strong supporters of Ukraine's freedom. Russia must pay reparations. pic.twitter.com/6utSZ7Dfx5
Editor: Michael Cole