Baltic speakers visiting Canada, United States

  • 2024-01-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Speakers of the parliaments of the Baltic states Lauri Hussar, Daiga Mierina and Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen are on a visit to Canada and the United States to discuss the security situation, support to Ukraine and the cooperation between countries.

On Saturday, President of the Estonian parliament Lauri Hussar will attend the festival PostEstDocs in Toronto, parliamentary spokespeople said. The festival is dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the great escape from Estonia in 1944 and there will be a screening of films that tell the stories of Estonian refugees in Canada. He will also meet with the members of the Estonian Central Council, and with Ellen Valter, who is the chair of the steering committee for KESKUS, the International Estonian Center to be built in downtown Toronto to showcase Estonia's heritage and promote Estonian innovation.

On Sunday, Hussar, together with representatives of the Lutheran congregation of Hamilton, will lay a wreath at the memorial monument to Estonian refugees, and visit Hamilton Estonian School that teaches the Estonian language and culture to both children and adults in order to sustain the Estonian community and keep contact with Estonia.

The joint visit of the speakers of the Baltic parliaments will start on Monday in Ottawa, where they will meet with Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada Greg Fergus, and members of the Canada-Nordic-Baltic parliamentary friendship group. The discussions at the meetings will focus on developments in the Baltic Sea region, enlargement of NATO, supporting Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East.

Afterwards, the speakers of the Baltic parliaments will travel to the United States, where they will meet with Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson to discuss cooperation, strengthening the security in the Baltic Sea region, aid to Ukraine and using of Russia's frozen assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine. In Washington, the Baltic speakers will also meet with Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Benjamin Cardin, former speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, and other members of the House of Representative and the Senate.