TALLINN – Taking part in a video meeting of Nordic and Baltic foreign ministers (NB8) held on Friday, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said that the common voice of the Nordic and Baltic states is strong.
The ministers discussed the COVID-19 situation, post-pandemic recovery, and regional and global topics, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The foreign minister said she was glad about the continued close NB8 cooperation and coordination on current issues and underlined Estonia considered the format vital and important. "In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the NB8 format has once again proven its remarkable value in many ways," Liimets said.
"This goes for both practical cooperation in the early stages of the pandemic as well as the useful coordination of positions on regional and global issues," she added. The foreign minister also said she was convinced the close cooperation would continue through the recovery phase.
Liimets briefed her colleagues on Estonia’s work so far and future plans as an elected member of the UN Security Council. "It is remarkable that in 2021, no less than two NB8 countries -- Estonia and Norway -- are elected members of the UN Security Council," the foreign minister said. "This allows us to focus on issues important for our region, and our shared values are heard more clearly on the global stage."
As an excellent example of cooperation in the UN Security Council, the foreign minister highlighted Estonia’s joint work with Norway as the penholder for Afghanistan and the joint condemnation of NB8 countries on issues like violations of international law by Russia, the illegal annexation of Crimea and events in Belarus.
The foreign minister also underlined the continued aim of highlighting cyber security at the UN Security Council.
At a discussion on Russia, the NB8 foreign ministers stressed the importance of European and transatlantic unity. Liimets also noted Estonia’s continued focus on and commitment to the Eastern Partnership.
In 2021, Nordic-Baltic cooperation is coordinated by Finland; in 2020, Estonia was the coordinating country.