“As good as relations between our two countries are, they could be more ambitious,” Prime Minister Kallas remarked. “For example, developments on the electricity market show very clearly how important energy independence and investments in renewable energy are to the whole of Europe. I am very pleased that Estonia and Latvia are taking a step forward together in that area – planning an open-sea wind farm for the Gulf of Rīga. In European terms, the project is truly pioneering.”
Prime Minister Kallas added that Estonia was also hoping to strengthen cooperation with Latvia in the field of cyber-security and in developing the reliable connectivity principles that emerged from the digital summit in Tallinn, doing so at both the regional and international levels.
The heads of government also discussed the COVID-19 situation and cooperation at the international level, including their expectations of the European Council summit being held on 21 & 22 October, focussing on issues of energy, digital development and illegal migration. “The border that Latvia and Lithuania share with Belarus, which has come under sustained migration pressure, is the external border of the European Union,” Prime Minister Kallas said. “If we want to retain freedom of movement within the EU, that border has to be protected. We also talked today about progress with the Rail Baltic project and how to move ahead with it in a way that takes the needs and interests of all three Baltic States into account.”
Following their bilateral meeting, Prime Ministers Kallas and Kariņš took part in the presentation of the Livonian Business Awards. Sponsored by their two countries’ Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the awards recognise the most successful Latvian company operating on the Estonian market and the most successful Estonian company operating on the Latvian market. This year’s awards went to Lux Express and Air Baltic.
This afternoon, the heads of government will be opening the high-level Rīga Conference, at which foreign policy and security experts, academics, journalists and entrepreneurs from all over the world will be speaking. In her address, Prime Minister Kallas will be emphasising the need to bolster people’s belief in democratic values so as to guarantee security. She will also be talking about the importance of deterrence and transatlantic cooperation. Following the opening of the conference, the heads of government will be visiting the NATO Multinational Division North headquarters at Ādaži Military Base, where Prime Minister Kallas will be meeting with the Estonian contingent.