Finnish and Estonian Prime Ministers agree to continue on joint projects between the two countries

  • 2015-06-09
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, TALLINN

On June 9 2015, new Finnish Prime Minister, Juha Sipila, and his Estonian counterpart, Taaivi Roivas, stressed the unique economic cooperation between the two countries, and assured cooperation initiated by previous governments on a number of joint projects will continue. 

Sipila, who assumed office on May 31, confirmed Finland’s new government wishes to continue with the Finnish-Estonia pilot project for the joint use of ID cards and digital signatures, which was initiated during the governments of Jyrki Katainen and Andrus Ansip, but has since been delated. 

“Today,” said Roivas, “we discussed how to further strengthen the economic cooperation between our two countries.

“We can do it in tourism, IT, and with additional energy connections, one of which is the Baltic Connector gas connection between Finland and Estonia.” 

Both Prime Ministers stated there are no disagreements in position between both countries onmost issues, but Finland still maintains it does not plan to join NATO. 

The countries are also pursuing different policies when it comes to the issue of excise duty on alcohol. 

“In Finland, there will not be a rise on excise duty on alcohol, because if we do, the proportion of imported alcohol will increase rapidly,” explained Sipila. “However, we will raise it on tobacco.” 

However, Roivas announced on the issue of Russia and Ukraine, both governments hold similar views. 

“We discussed that watching events taking place in Ukraine, we in the European Union have no other choice than to proceed with the economic sanctions imposed on Russia,” he said. “I hope that will be a unified decision across all EU member states.”