Estonian president to Icelandic colleague: Pressure on Russia must be further strengthened

  • 2024-05-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis stressed at a meeting with his Icelandic counterpart, Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson, that the pressure on Russia must be further strengthened.

"By now, all the Nordic and Baltic countries belong to NATO, which gives the opportunity to discuss security and defense policy topics openly and on an equal basis," Karis said at the meeting. "We need to further strengthen regional security and defense cooperation and increase pressure on Russia to end its aggression."

"Estonia and Iceland are very close friends, allies and like-minded countries. We remember well Iceland's support in the restoration of our independence," the president added. "The long-term cultural partnership between Iceland and Estonia and strong personal contacts between the cultural circles have contributed to cultural cooperation, which recently brought us both an important award -- the title of the best documentary film in Europe for the film 'Smoke Sauna Sisterhood', we are very proud of it."

"Living next to an aggressive neighbor, we highly value Iceland's contribution to the collective defense of the Baltic region," Karis said. "Smooth cooperation between allies at every level is needed to contain Russia."

Speaking about what is happening in Ukraine and issues related to Russia's aggression, the head of state said that support for the Ukrainians must continue.

"Iceland's contribution here is significant and a good example of how all possibilities are used to help," Karis said.

"The most important thing for our security is to secure Ukraine's victory on the battlefield and Ukraine's future in NATO and the European Union," the president added.

In view of the upcoming NATO summit in Washington, Karis highlighted a strong support package for Ukraine, focusing on the Russian threat and strengthening NATO's defense position in our region as Estonia's goals. He expressed his pleasure that Estonia and Iceland share these goals.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included climate, energy and hybrid threats. The Estonian head of state noted that Iceland has been an example for Estonia in the use of renewable energy. Also, Iceland's constant attention to the Arctic ecosystem has contributed not only to raising awareness about climate change, but also to ideas and collaborative projects to find the best solutions to protect the Arctic. The presidents also talked about the situation in Georgia.

On Wednesday, the presidents will tour East-Viru County, visiting the code/Johvi school for software developers, the Sinimaed Museum in Vaivara, Narva Castle and the mining museum in Kohtla-Nomme. The presidents will also meet officials from the Police and Border Guard Board.