Foreign ministers of Baltic Sea states discuss coronavirus crisis

  • 2020-05-19
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - COVID-19, the inclusion of young people, climate and the environment, and combating cross-border crime were the main topics of a video meeting of the foreign ministers of the Baltic Sea states on Tuesday.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu in his statement made at the meeting stressed the importance of digital cooperation, spokespeople for the Estonian Foreign Ministry said. The Estonian minister said that the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of information exchanges on different levels.

"We should jointly value and support developments in modern digital technology and find an effective mechanism for sharing experience and best practices with one another. Estonia is prepared to share its experience," Reinsalu said.

The Estonian minister said that in the rapidly changing world, increasing the role of young people and their voice in society and policymaking on various levels has been a longtime priority for the government of Estonia.

Reinsalu also affirmed Estonia's commitment to the ongoing regional initiatives for the promotion of sustainable development, addressing of climate change and protecting the Baltic Sea marine environment. 

Reinsalu described digital cooperation as important also in combating crime.

"The nature of organized crime is changing: the share of cyber crime is growing rapidly, corruption is concealing itself ever more, new complex forms of cross-border crime are revealed, such as hybrid and financial crimes. Not to speak of new threats connected with the development of technology such as virtual currencies and artificial intelligence," Reinsalu said.

The Estonian minister thanked for foreign minister of Denmark for a successful presidency and implementation of reforms in the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

The so-called Bornholm declaration, which sets out the priorities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, was endorsed at the meeting.

Denmark is the president of the Council of the Baltic Sea States from July 2019 to July this year, when the presidency will be taken over by Lithuania.