TALLINN - President of the Estonian parliament Juri Ratas and his Lithuanian counterpart Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen discussed the foreign and security policy, Baltic defense cooperation as well as energy and transport at a meeting in Tallinn on Monday.
Cooperation in supporting Belarus was also discussed at length at the meeting, spokespeople for the Estonian parliament said.
The parties confirmed very good bilateral relations between Estonia and Lithuania as well as excellent cooperation between the two states in NATO and at the EU level. Ratas said that transport connections, including the Rail Baltic project, have an important role in Baltic cooperation, as do energy security and the synchronization of power networks.
Topics discussed in greater detailed also included supporting the Eastern Partnership states, particularly the situation in Belarus and various options for influencing it. The two parliamentary speakers also discussed the topic of donating vaccines to the Eastern Partners.
The parties welcomed the slowdown in the spread of the coronavirus and the opportunity to once again meet in person.
Speaker of the parliament of Lithuania the Seimas, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, said that Estonia's experience in cyber defense serves as a role mode for Lithuania. Cmilyte-Nielsen said that Lithuania is interested in the organization of Estonian education system and also expressed appreciation on behalf of Lithuania of Estonia supporting the idea to close the first Belarusian nuclear power plant launched in Astravyets near the Lithuanian border.
The meeting was also attended by chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson and head of the Estonian delegation to the Baltic Assembly Aadu Must. Mihkelson reaffirmed good long-term foreign policy cooperation between the two states. He added that close cooperation is needed for preserving European unity and transatlantic relations as well as for withstanding Russia's aggressions and increasing Chinese influence. Must said that close relations between the Baltic states in the Baltic Assembly are also crucial.
In the afternoon, the speaker of the parliament of Lithuania will have a meeting with Vice-President of the Riigikogu Hanno Pevkur. The head of the Estonian delegation to the Baltic Assembly, Aadu Must, and deputy chair of the European Union affairs committee of the Riigikogu Riina Sikkut will participate in the meeting. Cmilyte-Nielsen will also meet with chairman of the finance committee and chairman of the Estonia-Lithuania parliamentary friendship group of the Riigikogu Erki Savisaar and deputy chair of the social affairs committee of the parliament Helmen Kutt.