Prime Minister Jüri Ratas: Estonia greatly appreciates UK’s contribution to our security

21.12.2019 | 17:04

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Tapa, 21 December 2019 – Today, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Tapa military camp, where they discussed future relations and defence cooperation between Estonia and the United Kingdom.

“I think the United Kingdom should become a very special partner and a close ally to the EU after Brexit, and that is something we are all working towards. We wish to have the closest possible relationship in all areas, especially in the fields of foreign, defence, and security policy, as well as economics and education,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

In particular, Ratas emphasised the importance of defence cooperation in the relations between Estonia and the United Kingdom. “We greatly appreciate the United Kingdom’s contribution to the security of NATO in the Baltic Sea region. British military support can be traced back to the Estonian War of Independence and this summer, their units were represented in Estonia on land, in air, and on the sea.”
Jüri Ratas stressed that London recently hosted a meeting of NATO leaders, where the allies displayed unity and solidarity.

In addition, the prime ministers discussed digital and cyber cooperation. “We see untapped opportunities here and want to develop this collaboration further. I also invited Prime Minister Johnson to the digital summit next autumn and to the meeting of the prime ministers of Nordic and Baltic countries and Ireland before that to jointly discuss cooperation in finding solutions in the fields of e-health and European health data management,” said Ratas.

Ratas also spoke about cooperation in the field of higher education. “United Kingdom is a very popular destination for our students and it is important that their situation would not worsen after Brexit,” he said. Heads of government also spoke about climate change and the UN climate conference that will take place in Glasgow next year.

The United Kingdom is a framework nation in NATO’s battle group at Tapa, and British fighters were on NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission at Ämari from May to September.

Photos from the meeting: 

Government Communication Unit