Estonian, Latvian governments to hold joint sitting in 2024

  • 2023-11-09
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas agreed with Latvian Prime Minister Evika Silina, who visited Estonia on Wednesday, that a joint session of the governments of the two countries will be organized next year.

At the meeting, the prime ministers expressed their satisfaction that the European Commission issued a recommendation to the Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, as well as their conviction that in order to achieve lasting peace, there must be no gray areas in European security.

"Ukraine has managed to exhibit determination and political will in fulfilling the seven conditions set by the European Commission. We are working to ensure that the Council, with its decision, opens accession negotiations with both Ukraine and Moldova at the end of the year," Kallas said after the meeting.

Kallas expressed hope that the European Commission will come up with a pan-European solution for the use of frozen Russian assets for the reconstruction of Ukraine before the December summit and emphasized that European countries must continue their long-term efforts to support Ukraine and raise the price of aggression.

"Sanctions are working. Being neighbors of the aggressor country, it is our right and duty to encourage our partners to more actively look for ways to minimize the evasion of sanctions," the prime minister said.

The prime ministers also thoroughly discussed the construction of Rail Baltic, which the Baltic states must complete by 2030.

"The success of the project and ensuring the best possible support for it from European Union funds requires a joint effort from us. We need to keep cost growth under control and speed up construction work. Next year, Estonia will start the construction of the route south of Parnu in order to ensure the timely completion of the railway section between Estonia and Latvia," Kallas said.

Security and energy security were also discussed at the meeting. According to Kallas, Estonia, together with its neighbors, must continue to work on securing its energy reserves and connections.

"The case of damage to the gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland, the causes of which are being investigated by experts from both countries, shows that we have to be prepared for different scenarios," she added.

The next time the three Baltic prime ministers will meet will be in Tallinn in mid-December as part of the Baltic Council of Ministers, which this year is chaired by Estonia.