Yesterday 17 February, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets was in Latvia to meet with the President of Latvia Egils Levits and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.
Foreign Minister Liimets said that as neighbours Estonia and Latvia enjoy close very relations – from cross-border cooperation to digital and defence topics. “We are currently working on several regional projects of strategic importance, such as Rail Baltic and the synchronisation of Baltic power systems with continental Europe.”
“Large-scale development of renewable energy is becoming increasingly important, and the joint wind farm project of Estonia and Latvia could lead the way in the entire Baltic Sea region,” Liimets said. “Over the past year, we have been in close communication with Latvia on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Estonia wishes to continue our efficient cooperation and prompt information exchange on fighting the spread of the virus. In the current situation, it is particularly important to preserve the continued movement of the residents of border regions.” Minister Liimets called on Latvia to join the project centred on the cross-border recognition of vaccinations that Estonia is developing in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We highly value bilateral and Baltic defence cooperation, and we are close allies in NATO,” Liimets said. “That is why we also discussed the efficient ways in which we could further develop our strategic relations with the new US administration.”
Touching on the situation in Russia and Belarus, Minister Liimets said that Estonia and Latvia must stand up for a united, strong and realistic EU policy towards Russia. The ministers stressed the importance of reaching a political agreement at the 22 February Foreign Affairs Council on imposing sanctions in response to human rights violations in Russia in connection with the poisoning and detention of Alexei Navalny and the subsequent suppression of peaceful demonstrations. Estonia also continues to keep the situation in Belarus on the agenda of the UN Security Council.
The foreign ministers also talked about current European cooperation issues, including future relations with the United Kingdom and discussions on the future of the European Union.
Photos (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmUkU2B6
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia