Tallinn, 6 September 2017 – Today, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to discuss the current key foreign policy issues, such as cooperation with African countries to solve the migration crisis, EU-Turkey relations, and the security situation in the neighbourhood of Europe.
“One of the most important topics for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU is solving the migration crisis in cooperation with African countries. Only by acting together can we solve the root causes of the migration crisis, such as poverty, unemployment and violence, which force people to undertake the life-threatening journey to Europe,” Ratas confirmed. “There are no quick and simple solutions here, but this does not mean that we will give up trying to achieve solidarity. In recent months, Estonian representatives have visited African countries several times, and have had several meetings with representatives for hotspot Mediterranean countries.”
The Prime Minister and the High Representative of the EU also discussed the cooperation between the EU and NATO, progress in implementing the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), questions regarding the Posting of Workers Directive, and issues relating to EU CYBRID 2017, the first cyber defence exercise for defence ministers, which will be held tomorrow.
Estonia believes it is also important to keep the EU’s Eastern Partnership in political focus, and to find opportunities for cooperation that would considerably improve the welfare of the people of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. “I am glad that Ukraine recently secured visa freedom with the EU. This is one example of the Eastern Partnership’s success stories. We look forward to a content-rich Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels in November, where we can continue our progress just as ambitiously,” Ratas said.
With regards to the Zapad exercise, Ratas noted that an increase in military activities was to be expected in the region, but it was not surprising, and that Estonia, together with its allies, was monitoring the situation closely, thus remaining calm and confident, but alert.
High Representative of the EU Federica Mogherini will chair the informal meetings for EU defence ministers and foreign affairs ministers being held in Tallinn this week.
Photos (Jürgen Randma): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3em2p0s34uq03tr/AACRVAWsIUF_-UzREx25aZJoa?dl=0