TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has sent a letter to British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab thanking the United Kingdom for its unwavering support for Estonia's security and defense and reaffirming continued close relations between the two states.
"We will have the knowledge that while leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom will not leave Europe," Reinsalu wrote in the letter, referring to reassurances by the British government.
"Relations between Estonia and the United Kingdom have been and will remain close, and our partnership will definitely continue in many international formats. British troops will continue to serve in Tapa and our cooperation in the UN Security Council will continue," the minister said.
He added that in exactly one year's time Estonia and the United Kingdom will reach another milestone in their bilateral relations as on Jan. 26, 1921, the United Kingdom officially recognized the Republic of Estonia.
"I hope that by that time we have sketched out the future strategy of our bilateral relations built on shared interests and values. We would like to see our cooperation to extend primarily in the areas of security and defense, cyber and digital affairs as well as in the mobility of students and academia," he wrote.
Jan. 31 is the last day the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union. Saturday, Feb. 1, sees the start of a transition period that runs until the end of the year, during which the European Union and the United Kingdom will continue negotiations over future relations. The rights currently in force apply until the end of the year to Estonian citizens and entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom, so no changes will affect areas such as traveling, ordering parcels and doing business. During the transition period, the United Kingdom and the European Union will agree on their future relations.