Foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, UK discuss cooperation

  • 2021-03-11
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The foreign ministers of the Baltic states made a joint statement with Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Dominic Raab, who arrived for a visit to Estonia on Wednesday, in which they agreed to work on strengthening democratic values and human rights, and to increase efforts to combat climate change.

Raab met with Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets and Latvian and Lithuanian foreign ministers Edgars Rinkevics and Gabrielius Landsbergis, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The meeting also included a discussion on increased cooperation between the Baltic States and the United Kingdom. Other important topics included security in Europe, including the issues of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

"I emphasized to my colleagues that we needed to continue helping our Eastern Partners on their chosen course and in implementing democratic reforms, engaging with the civil society and modernizing the economy. We must support Ukraine in restoring their territorial integrity and keep the international focus on the situation in Belarus," Liimets said.

The ministers also discussed China and international security -- they agreed to strengthen cooperation in NATO, and touched upon transatlantic relations and the climate.

"On cyber issues, we highlighted the importance of cooperation between like-minded countries and information exchange because we are better protected against threats if we take action together," the Estonian foreign minister said.       

In the joint statement, the ministers also agreed to continue working on strengthening democratic values, human rights, respect for international law and to increase efforts to defend media freedom and combat disinformation. They reaffirmed the importance of combating climate change and increasing the ambition of emission reduction targets ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November.

"Naturally, we also covered issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We agreed that now it was important to make quick progress with vaccinations and learn from each other’s successes. I invited the United Kingdom, Latvia and Lithuania to join the project of an international trust framework that Estonia is developing with the World Health Organization. This would provide countries with a global digital solution for a speedy mutual recognition of vaccination certificates. We also discussed making vaccines available to the world's least developed countries," the foreign minister said.