TALLINN – When it comes to concern about the security of Europe and the freedom of Ukraine, putting pressure on Russia to end the war and providing comprehensive support to Ukraine are currently paramount, Estonian President Alar Karis said at a meeting with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, who is currently in Estonia on an official visit.
"Russia's war against Ukraine has radically changed the security architecture of Europe and caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the suffering of millions of people. It is time to start helping Ukraine more boldly with financial, humanitarian and military assistance and supporting Ukraine's European Union aspirations," Karis said. He added that it is also necessary to further increase political and economic pressure on Russia to end the war.
The heads of state also discussed the escalating tensions in Moldova and the security situation in Europe more broadly. "By attacking Ukraine, Russia is actually attacking the community of democratic countries, trying to divide us, but actually making us more united and decisive," the Estonian head of state said.
Karis and Anastasiades discussed the possibilities for further deepening the good relations between Estonia and Cyprus, for example in digital cooperation. "Cyprus is interested in our successful digital development. We are ready to share our experience in the field of e-governance, digital services and cyber security. I am pleased that tomorrow President Anastasiades and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas will sign an annex to the Estonian-Cypriot memorandum of understanding on digital cooperation, which will help support Cyprus in the digitization of the public sector, the establishment of a civil register and in the field of cyber security," Karis said, adding that the year 2022 is special in Estonian-Cypriot relations, as Jan. 22 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The heads of state also talked about cooperation possibilities in the maritime field. "Estonia and Cyprus are both maritime states and we see good prospects for developing cooperation in the maritime sector as an important industry. Given the growing importance of cyber security also in the maritime sector, we are interested in developing cooperation with Cypriot maritime authorities and companies in the field of maritime cyber security as well. I invited Cyprus to join the maritime cyber security center of the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and the Maritime Academy," Karis said.
The heads of state also talked about cooperation in the field of education and tourism. The presidents acknowledged that there is still plenty of room for growth in promoting economic relations.
Karis and Anastasiades also spoke about the situation in the Mediterranean region, including the East Mediterranean and issues concerning migration.
Anastasiades also met with parliament speaker Juri Ratas and Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kolvart and visited the Raeapteek pharmacy in Tallinn Old Town. On Thursday evening, the Estonian president and his wife will host a dinner in honor of the Cypriot head of state and his wife.
On Friday morning, Anastasiades will meet with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and sign the annex to the Estonian-Cypriot memorandum of understanding on digital cooperation. The Cypriot head of state will also meet with a number of entrepreneurs active in the cyber field.