Estonian president to Maltese colleague: We are like-minded on important matters

  • 2022-09-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Relations between Estonia and Malta are very good, the two countries are like-minded on important issues in the European Union, and cooperation between the countries is developing especially in the fields of education and tourism, Estonian President Alar Karis said when meeting his Maltese counterpart George Vella in Tallinn.

The Maltese head of state is on an official visit to Estonia on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Malta.

"Malta offers Estonian tourists a warm sea and sunny weather, while in Estonia it is possible to hike in forests and unique swamps," said Karis, mentioning that schools in Malta, for example, use an Estonian online playing environment for studying mathematics.

Speaking about the green transition and the energy crisis, Karis pointed out that the climate crisis is more acute than ever before, and the answer for the long term is a switch to renewable energy.

"At the moment, however, due to high energy prices, European countries must not succumb to Russian pressure to weaken sanctions and conclude new energy supply agreements," the Estonian president said.

"We must isolate and weaken Russia until they stop, and continue to support Ukraine in every way possible for as long as necessary in order to help Ukraine win the war. It is important to explain to all countries that Russia is destabilizing the world economy by stealing Ukraine's grain, cutting off the flow of gas to Europe regardless of previous agreements and accords." 

Speaking about the complex topic of migration, the Estonian head of state said that Malta has been dealing with this crisis for years.

"Accepting Ukrainian war refugees concerns the whole of Europe, we have all made a contribution. Today, we too have become a country at the front line of migration, we fully understand Malta and we see the need to strengthen the European Union's support for Ukrainian refugees and the member states most affected by migration," Karis said.

According to the Estonian head of state, both Estonia and Malta support the enlargement of the European Union and the integration of Ukraine, Moldova and the Balkan countries with the EU. Karis described granting the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova as a historic decision.

"We firmly believe that the best security guarantee is to avoid grey zones in the neighborhood of the European Union," Karis said. "Estonia attaches importance to the further integration of the candidate countries of the European Union and the promotion of democratic, economic and social reforms in the Southern Neighborhood of the European Union."

The president congratulated Malta on becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, wishing it every strength for the next two years and expressing the hope that Malta will be active in pursuing necessary reforms in that organization and will firmly continue to put pressure on Russia.

The head of state of Malta, George Vella, is on an official visit to Estonia with his spouse on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Estonia and Malta. While in Tallinn, he will also meet with the speaker of the Riigikogu, Juri Ratas, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu and the chairman of the Tallinn City Council, Jevgeni Ossinovski.