Estonian PM: No radio show changing good relations between Estonia, Lithuania

  • 2021-01-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - No radio program can change good relations between Estonia and Lithuania, Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said, commenting on derogatory comments targeted at Lithuania made by leading figures of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) Mart and Martin Helme.

"I reaffirmed to the Lithuanian prime minister this morning that our bilateral relations are in excellent shape. There are many paths we've walked together, and will continue walking today and tomorrow, such as the restoration of our independence, accession to the European Union and NATO, air policing in the Baltic states, the NATO battle group, construction of the Rail Baltic railway, synchronization, trade, communication between people, tourism, joint action to cope with the virus during the COVID-19 crisis and so on," Ratas wrote on social media on Monday. 

"We've demonstrated strength with regard to all these topics in our three states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The strategic relations between the Baltic states are strong and excellent, and will remain so tomorrow as well as the day after. This is something I can always reaffirm with great pleasure and pride," he said.

No Sunday radio program can change that, the prime minister noted.

"It makes me wonder, however, what it is EKRE leaders are trying to achieve. It seems that this radio show has raised some controversy also within EKRE but that is their party's concern. Are they trying to renege on our three parties' joint coalition agreement? It contains many right and good principles we've always held in high regard in our work," Ratas said. 

"The other possibility is that EKRE wants to reopen the coalition agreement. Frankly, neither of these approaches is smart or sustainable," Ratas said.

The premier recommended to refrain from making such statements.

"In my opinion, having a globe on the table would also be appropriate," he said.

"On a side note -- EKRE has been in coalition with our centrist-liberal party for over 20 months now, and I personally am an adamant supporter of the European Union. A strong Estonia in a strong Europe! Dear friends, let's take it easy and have a nice 2021," he concluded. 

In addition to questioning the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election, Mart and Martin Helme also criticized the credibility of the Lithuanian parliamentary elections in October on the "Raagime asjast" broadcast of the Tre radio on Sunday.