Estonian, Portuguese PMs talk about vaccination, Navalny

  • 2021-02-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – During a video meeting on Wednesday, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the prime minister of the European Union presidency Portugal, Antonio Costa, talked about the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, cooperation in the EU and the situation concerning civil and human rights in Russia.

The two heads of government considered the work of the European Commission in obtaining vaccines for the member states as important, spokespeople for the Estonian government said. 

"Vaccination is the only way how we can start moving back to a normal life and restarting of the economy," Kallas was quoted as saying.

The prime ministers also talked about the need to immediately reach a final agreement on the EU budget and the plan for restarting the economy, in order for it to be possible to start using it quickly. Kallas also spoke about the establishment of Rail Baltic, which will improve connections with Europe and help achieve climate goals. 

In addition, the prime ministers talked about the relations of the EU with Russia and the prison sentence handed down to Alexei Navalny the day before. 

"The sentencing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is cynical and has nothing to do with the rule of law. Navalny and all arrested peaceful demonstrators and journalists must be released immediately. The European Union must act quickly and resolutely to protect human rights, and move ahead with imposing restrictive measures on Russia," Kallas said.

Kallas and Costa hailed the close relations and cooperation between Estonia and Portugal.

"The new Estonian government shares common goals with Portugal -- we both focus, for instance, on combating climate change as well as the digital transformation," Kallas said, expressing support to Portugal's work as the presidency of the Council of the European Union.