TALLINN – In a meeting with his Finnish counterpart on Tuesday, Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that Finland will receive Estonia's full backing in the process of its accession to NATO.
Finland's NATO membership will have a positive impact on the security of both countries, the Baltic region more widely and the alliance as a whole, Reinsalu said according to spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The meeting of Foreign Ministers Urmas Reinsalu and Pekka Haavisto in Helsinki focused on relations between their two countries, the security situation in Europe and Finland’s accession to NATO. An intergovernmental seminar was also held in Helsinki to discuss the implementation of the recommendations made in a report issued earlier in the year on future relations between Estonia and Finland.
"“We hope to welcome Finland as a fully-fledged member of NATO by the Vilnius summit in July at the latest," Reinsalu said.
The ministers also discussed Russia's aggression in Ukraine, agreeing that continued support of every kind for the Ukrainians is vital with winter approaching. Reinsalu noted that Ukraine has made clear headway as an EU candidate country and that further support for its ambitions in integrating with the union is very important.
"Russia's unrelenting aggression in Ukraine can only be stopped by raising the cost of the war for Russia," the Estonian minister said. "Swift progress must be made on the next package of sanctions, which will include restrictions on energy carriers. We also need to press ahead in setting up a special tribunal to bring the Russian leadership to justice for the crimes of aggression they have committed."
At the seminar on the future of Estonian-Finnish relations, Reinsalu welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries, which has led to a number of success stories, particularly in the spheres of the economy and culture. The close working relationship between the countries is reflected in the accessibility of digital prescriptions in both countries, the Balticconnector gas pipeline linking the two and the international success of the 2021 Estonian-Finnish coproduction "Compartment Number 6."
The minister added that although areas with great potential for cooperation were central to the report, there were still those in which partnerships could be further strengthened, such as the cyber field.