Estonia: Vaher, Helme say cooperation will continue

  • 2019-08-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonia's Interior Minister Mart Helme and the director general of the Police and Border Guard Board, Elmar Vaher, said after their meeting at the Interior Ministry on Thursday morning that cooperation between them will continue.

Helme said that during the meeting that started before 8 a.m., he and the police chief talked in a very frank atmosphere about the background of the row that broke out last week and both found that they had behaved in a too emotional manner at times. 

"We drew the line under the topic," Helme said as he shaked hands with Vaher before journalists.

Helme said that many important projects stand before us in the field of internal security and there's no time for quarreling. As such projects, Helme named developing of the border guard, issues of migration, and several other topics that stand before the Interior Ministry in the near future.

Vaher described a peaceful work atmosphere and trust as very important for the police. 

"It's important for a police officer to have the courage to be a police officer," Vaher said. 

The police chief said that the Interior Ministry has asked what places the Police and Border Guard Board sees for cuts, and the discussions on that topic will continue in the fall.

"We will continue engaging in businesslike and target-based cooperation," Vaher said. 

Both affirmed that they also offered to each other an overview of how the tentative plan for cuts came to be.

"I nevertheless hope that there will be no cuts," Vaher said, speaking of the Police and Border Guard Board. 

Helme added that the situation when it comes to the size of required cuts has changed during the summer and if initially it seemed that the government as a whole needs to cut 80 million euros in spending, now we can talk about 60 million euros and that amount may become smaller still. This in its turn means that the expectations of all parties concerning the cuts to be executed by individual agencies will change.

On Friday, Helme and Vaher will go to inspect the construction of the Estonian-Russian border.