Putin to Kaljulaid: Absence of contacts between neighbours 'not normal'

Presidents Kaljulaid and Putin in Moscow, 18 April 2019.
Presidents Kaljulaid and Putin in Moscow, 18 April 2019. Source: AFP/Scanpix

The absence of contacts between officials of two neighbouring countries is "not normal", Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with President Kersti Kaljulaid in Moscow on Thursday.

"It has been a long time since we have seen each other. It has been ten years since a top-level meeting took place. You and I met briefly somewhere abroad not too long ago," President Putin said to President Kaljulaid.

"A lack of contacts between officials, official bodies, between neighbours, is not a healthy situation," he added.

President Putin went on to say that as a result of such interruptions, the trade turnover between Russia and Estonia has shrunk by more than 50% in recent years.

"We objectively have common interests related to the Baltic Sea region. There are also issues of security, and issues of the environment, issues related to transport, transit," President Putin said.

President Kaljulaid said that it is "necessary" that neighbours talk to each other. "Even if we have certain differences," she added.

President Kaljulaid is in Russia for a working visit. She arrived early on Thursday morning and before her meeting with her Russian counterpart attended the opening of the renovated Estonian embassy in Moscow. She will spend the night in Moscow, with more engagements scheduled for Friday.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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