The prime ministers of Estonia and Portugal discussed the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, and recognised cooperation between European Commission Member States to be critical in the procurement of vaccines. ‘Vaccination is the only way in which we can begin moving back towards a normal life and restarting the economy,’ said Kallas.
The Prime Ministers also talked about the need to immediately reach a final agreement involving the EU budget and the economic recovery plan, so that it could quickly be implemented. Kallas also told Costa about an infrastructure project that is important to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the construction of Rail Baltic, which will improve our connection to Europe and help to achieve climate targets.
Furthermore, the Estonian and the Portuguese Prime Minister talked about the EU’s relations with Russia and the prison sentence received by Navalny.
‘The sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to imprisonment is cynical and it has nothing to do with the rule of law. Navalny and all arrested peaceful demonstrators and journalists must be released immediately. The European Union must act quickly and decisively to protect human rights, and must move forward with imposing restrictive measures on Russia,’ Kallas emphasised.
The Prime Ministers welcomed the close relations and cooperation between Estonia and Portugal. ‘Today, when we celebrate the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Portugal, our countries’ willingness to cooperate and our friendship in Europe are stronger than ever before,’ said Prime Minister Kallas, highlighting the fact that Portugal never recognised the annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union.
‘Estonia’s new government shares the same goals with Portugal – for example, we are both focused on the fight against climate change, as well as on the digital transition,’ said Kallas, who expressed support for Portugal’s work during its presidency of the EU Council.