Prime Minister Ratas in Riga: Good connections strengthen our regional security and people’s welfare

09.12.2016 | 13:59

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Riga, 9 December 2016 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis and Prime Minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis and participated in the official meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Baltic Council of Ministers today.

The meetings with President Vējonis and Prime Minister Kučinskis focused on the relations between Estonia and Latvia and transnational cooperation. Also, the internal political developments in both countries were under discussion.

The attention of the official meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Baltic Council of Ministers was drawn to the transport and energy cooperation projects of the three Baltic countries, and also to regional security.

“We all agreed that independence and good connections with Western Europe with regard to transport and energy strengthen our regional security and people’s welfare,” Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said after the Baltic Prime Ministers’ meeting.

Ratas said that Estonia considers it important to continue close cooperation with Latvia and Lithuania with regard to the establishment of the Rail Baltic, and supports the goal that the project should be completed by 2025. “The Government is of the opinion that the current process should be advanced in order to achieve this. Already at the next Prime Ministers’ meeting in Estonia, we would like to sign the Rail Baltic agreement and take the discussions to the parliaments of all three countries,” Ratas said and added that Estonia supports the greater involvement of Finland and Poland in the project development, which helps to ensure the economic profitability of the Rail Baltic and also better connections in the entire region.

In the energy sector, it is important for Estonia to synchronise the power network with the frequency band of Europe in order to ensure the region’s energy security. Before making the final decision about the specific frequency band, it is necessary to determine the total cost and technical feasibility of the project, and ensure the support of the countries involved in the project.

Estonia supports the development of the common Baltic-Finnish regional gas market by 2020, and considers it necessary to approve the corresponding action plan. “It is important to ensure the security of gas supply in the long term,” Ratas emphasised.

The Baltic Council of Ministers will be under the Estonian Presidency in 2017.

Photos from Riga: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/204pnx7v093uz27/AABkjeU_bEXJIeTbswFZdJB9a?dl=0

 

Tauno Tõhk

Government Communication Unit