President: Baltic Sea a strength connecting Estonia, Finland

  • 2024-05-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis and his Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb discussed the military defense of the Baltic Sea area as well as the energy connections and energy security of Estonia and Finland at the Miinisadam naval harbor in Tallinn on Tuesday, with the Estonian head of state referring to the Baltic Sea as a strength that connects the two countries.

"The more Estonia, Finland and Sweden cooperate to ensure security in the Baltic Sea, the stronger we are, and the stronger NATO is," Karis said.

The discussion focused on energy and communication connections between Estonia and Finland.

"More energy and communication links make us more resilient and less vulnerable to hybrid attacks," the Estonian president said.

Speaking about regional security, the head of state emphasized that Russia remains a long-term threat to the entire region.

"Estonia takes this threat seriously. Therefore, strengthening defense readiness is an important goal for us, for instance, we are investing 3 percent of GDP in national defense, conducting exercises for reservists, and enhancing defense infrastructure," he said.

He also stressed the importance of strengthening NATO's collective defense and contributing to the European Union's defense readiness.

In addition to the presidents of Estonia and Finland, participants in the discussion also included Finnish Climate Minister Kai Mykkanen and his Estonian counterpart Kristen Michal, commander of the Finnish defense forces, Gen. Janne Jaakkola, incoming Estonian defense chief, Brig. Gen. Andrus Merilo, head of the Estonian transmission system operator (TSO) Elering, Kalle Kilk, and executive vice president of Finnish national TSO Fingrid, Timo Kiiveri.