On his first foreign visit since being appointed on June 6, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne visited Estonia on Friday, where he met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) and President Kersti Kaljulaid.
"We saw once again that Estonia and Finland are very close," Ratas said following their meeting according to a government press release. "I am glad that we agree with Finland on all the major issues, as global challenges, such as climate change and sustaining economic growth, can only be faced if we stand together. Cooperation is increasingly important in this ever-changing world. In order for us to continue moving forward in a neighborly manner, the Nordic countries and the Baltic states must keep on walking to the same rhythm on international issues where we share similar views, because our voices are stronger when we are together."
Ratas also stressed the importance of digital cooperation.
"Our bilateral cooperation is increasingly more active, but we could also achieve a more advanced data exchange," he noted. "Estonia and Finland already exchange digital prescriptions, but tax data, business registers and population registers still offer endless opportunities. The Nordic countries and the Baltic states could very well become the most digitally connected region in the world."
Also discussed by Ratas and Rinne were the possibility of Finland joining the Rail Baltica railway project and the establishment of a joint Estonian-Latvian-Finnish gas market. The two heads of state also discussed the prospects of the proposed Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel, as well as the environmental situation in the Baltic Sea, which is one of the priorities of Finland's new government.
On July 1, Finland will take over the presidency of the Council of the EU. Finland has decided to prioritize the development of the internal market, climate change and a rules-based world order, which are likewise important to Estonia, the press release highlighted. The internal market and inclusive economic growth are an important part of the EU's new strategic action plan as well.
Later on Friday afternoon, Rinne also met with Kaljulaid at Kadriorg Palace.
Friday's visit to Estonia marked Rinne's first foreign visit as prime minister of Finland.
Editor: Aili Vahtla