OREANDA-NEWS. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas stated during today’s meeting with the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö that the relations between Estonia and Finland are exceptionally close and good and that the countries frequently cooperate in various fields.

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö, who is currently on a state visit to Estonia, discussed the bilateral relations of the countries, cooperation in the field of ICT, energy projects, security matters of the Baltic Sea region and the situation in Ukraine during the meeting, as well as the cultural cooperation related to celebrating the 100th anniversaries of both Estonia and Finland.

When talking about security, Prime Minister Rõivas stressed that a strong and common European Union foreign and security policy and a determined NATO are in the interests of Estonia. In connection to the crisis in Ukraine, he commented that sanctions must continue as long as the Minsk agreements are not adhered to. The Prime Minister added that the response by NATO to the actions of Russia is strengthening the deterrence by the Alliance. Prime Minister Rõivas also called for increasing cooperation between the Nordic and Baltic countries in the field of security.

“Being a member of NATO is an internal matter of Finland that will be decided by the Finnish people. At the same time I would like to assure that Estonia will always be willing to help Finland in both good and bad.” Prime Minister Rõivas added that we will not make compromises in the security matters of our region and, if needed, Estonia will also help Finland.

Prime Minister Rõivas and President Niinistö also discussed energy and infrastructure projects at the meeting. The Prime Minister expressed his delight over the fact that Estonia and Finland submitted the application to include European funds (CEF) for building the BalticConnector gas pipeline jointly and in accordance with the schedule; he also emphasised the importance of the pipeline being completed by the end of 2019.

The Estonian and Finnish prime ministers signed a joint declaration last week in Helsinki to take our roadmap digital cooperation to the next level. Prime Minister Rõivas told President Niinistö that launching cross-border national e-services will bring along huge potential for improving cooperation between Estonian and Finnish enterprises and this will not only contribute to the economic growth of both nations but also lead the way in Europe and the world in general.