Estonian-Latvian cooperation needs bold ideas for upgrade - Estonian PM

  • 2021-10-15
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN, Oct 15 (LETA--BNS) – Bold ideas are needed to renew good cooperation between Estonia and Latvia, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said at a meeting with her Latvian counterpart  Krisjanis Karins during her one-day official visit to Latvia on Friday.

Kallas and Karins discussed energy security, the progress of Rail Baltic and the situation concerning illegal migration at the European Union's external border, spokespeople for the Estonian government said.

Kallas expressed the hope that the Estonian-Latvian future cooperation report, to be completed in June next year, will offer fresh and bold ideas for bilateral cooperation.

"There is room for ambition in the relations between our countries. For example, what is happening in the electricity market shows very convincingly how important energy independence and investment in renewables are for all of Europe. I am pleased that Estonia and Latvia are taking a joint step forward in this area -- we are planning an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga," Kallas said, describing the common offshore wind farm as a pioneering collaborative project in Europe.

"We also hope to intensify cooperation with Latvia in the field of cybersecurity and in developing the principles of trusted connectivity hatched from the Tallinn Digital Summit at both global and regional level," she added.

The prime ministers also discussed the COVID-19 situation and cooperation at the international level, including expectations for the meeting of the European Council on Oct. 21-22, focusing on energy, digital development and illegal migration.

"The border of Lithuania and Latvia with Belarus, which is under migration pressure, is external border of the European Union. If we want to maintain free movement within the EU, the external border must be protected," said Kallas. "We also discussed today the progress of Rail Baltic and how to move forward in a way that takes into account the interests and needs of all three Baltic countries," the Estonian premier added.

After the bilateral meeting, the prime ministers took part in the Livonia Business Award ceremony. The award, founded by the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries, recognizes the most successful Latvian company on the Estonian market and the most successful Estonian company on the Latvian market. The recipients of the prize this year are Lux Express and Air Baltic.

In the afternoon, the prime ministers will open the high-level Riga Security Conference. In her speech, Kallas will underline the importance of keeping people's faith in democratic values to ensure security, as well as the importance of deterrence and transatlantic cooperation.

After that, the heads of government will visit the NATO Multinational Division North headquarters at Adazi Military Base, where Kallas will also have a meeting with members of the Estonian contingent.