Gallery: Ratas, Sipilä open Estonian centennial bike ride in Helsinki ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Sunday opened a bike ride in Helsinki dedicated to the Estonian centennial.

Participants could choose between two distances, both inspired by the centennial: 100km, celebrating the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, and 24.2km, a nod to the date of Estonia's Independence Day, according to a government press release.

Ratas and Sipilä cycled the 24.2km distance.

"Estonia and Finland share a special relationship," Ratas said. "Last year, we had a spirited football match in Tallinn with the Finnish prime minister and Government Office to celebrate [Finland's] centennial. This year, we boosted our spirits and bodies with a joint bike ride in Helsinki. I do hope that events like these become a tradition."

Following the bike ride, entertainment was provided by renowned Finnish percussionist Kari Pavota and Silver Laas and Janno Trum, as well as Finnish jazz masters Mikko Pettinen and Aki Haarala.

While Ratas was in Helsinki, he and Sipilä also discussed current political affairs.

"We are facing a busy and crucial autumn for Europe," the Estonian prime minister noted. "We have to move forward in the EU on many complex topics, especially Brexit and migration."

The two heads of government discussed the presidency of the EU and Estonia's recent experiences with the role as Finland prepares for its own presidency in the second half of 2019. "I do hope that Finland will actively proceed with developing digital topics and the Eastern Partnership during their presidency," Ratas commented. "Strengthening the external borders of the EU as well."

The Estonian-Finnish bike ride was organised by the Government Offices of Finland and Estonia and the management team of Estonia 100 in cooperation with Suomen Pyöräily and Cycle Club Helsinki.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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