Helsinki, 7 December 2016 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas stated during his first foreign visit that good relations with Finland are important and should continue with projects important for both countries. At the meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Ratas emphasised that Estonia and Finland must continue their close cooperation to strengthen the economies of both countries and find new markets for our products.
“The Estonian and Finnish economies are tightly intertwined. Finland is one of the most important economic partners for Estonia. To ensure that the people and enterprises of both countries could experience economic growth, we must find even more options for cooperation,” Prime Minister Ratas said. “If one of us is doing great, so will the other and close cooperation can boost both economies.”
According to Ratas, ICT cooperation between Estonia and Finland is a good example of how it is possible to become a pioneer in Europe by working towards a common goal. Significant progress has also been made in joint infrastructure projects – the financing agreement of BalticConnector was signed in Brussels on 21 October and the second agreement will be signed next week. Prime Minister Ratas thanked his Finnish colleague for his personal input in advancing these projects and added that the work must continue on the level of officials.
In addition to economic matters, Prime Minister Ratas and Prime Minister Sipilä also discussed the topics of the European Council meeting taking place next week, as well as regional security.
“Estonia and Finland have a similar understanding of the security environment surrounding us,” Ratas said and added that Estonia values the contribution of Finland to increasing security both in the world, for example, through the joint mission of Estonia and Finland in Lebanon, as well as in the Baltic Sea region.
“The European Union policy regarding Russia can only be effective if we stand united. We expect Russia to adhere to the Minsk agreements as well as respect the independence and sovereignty of its neighbours,” Ratas said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will meet with his Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues at the meeting of Baltic Prime Ministers taking place in Riga where the focus will be on cooperation projects of the three Baltic countries.