TALLINN - The foreign affairs committee of the Estonian parliament met with Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto via a video link on Wednesday to discuss the region's security situation, Russia's activities in the border regions of Ukraine and issues regarding Belarus.
Chairman of the foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson said that Russia's activities and the developments in Ukraine must be kept under close scrutiny at all times, parliamentary spokespeople said. The parties highlighted the crucial importance of European Union cohesion, solidarity with Ukraine, and all-round support to free and successful Ukraine.
With regard to Belarus, participants in the meeting underscored the need and importance of strict sanctions.
"We must continue supporting the sovereignty of Belarus and demand that new free and fair presidential elections be organized in Belarus. Today, the best way to put pressure on the Lukashenko regime is to enforce strong and effective sanctions,” Mihkelson said.
The committee chairman said he was pleased that bilateral relations and exchange of information between Estonia and Finland are strong. He highlighted the report on the future cooperation of Estonia and Finland which is to be completed in February. The report outlines the state of bilateral relations and suggests new opportunities for cooperation.
The chairman of the committee raised the issue of qualified majority decisions in the EU foreign and security policy, and the possibilities for enhancing the speed and strength the foreign policy of the Union. The participants also exchanged ideas about the upcoming meeting of EU ministers of foreign affairs, and the OSCE chairmanship of Finland in 2025.