Formins of Estonia, Hungary discuss security, economic cooperation

  • 2021-05-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets met with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto on Monday to discuss security and economic cooperation, the European Union and the Three Seas Initiative, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The Hungarian foreign minister visited Tallinn to mark the centenary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Hungary and present Hungary's objectives for its Council of Europe chairmanship.

"A hundred years ago, Hungary was among the first to recognize our young state. Likewise, 30 years ago, Hungary's support for Estonia helped us reclaim our place among free nations," Liimets said.

"Today, as members of the European Union and NATO, we are both contributing to the development of the region and global security. This is why I stressed to my colleague that in these organisations, we must act according to shared values and principles that are the basis for our current success," she added.

The ministers also discussed Russia's actions in the past few months that have affected the security and stability of the European Union and our partners. They also spoke about the European Union’s relations with China.

At the meeting, the ministers also explored enhancing cooperation between Estonia and Hungary, particularly in view of the current developments of the region and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Liimets highlighted security cooperation: "We highly appreciate Hungary's contribution to Baltic air policing and we are interested in continued defense cooperation."

Both Liimets and Szijjarto noted the Three Seas Initiative was a chance to reinforce the infrastructure of the region.

"Both Hungary and Estonia prioritize boosting the Three Seas Initiative. We consider it key to develop the strategic partnership, investment fund, smart connectivity and practical aspects of the initiative," Liimets said.

The Estonian foreign minister also outlined Estonia's actions as an elected member of the UN Security Council, including during our presidency in June 2021. Touching on cooperation in the Council of Europe, Liimets underlined the importance of the Istanbul Convention and presented Estonia's first action plan for human rights. 

Touching on the European Union, both ministers affirmed they supported the EU's enlargement policy, as stability in the Western Balkans was crucial for European security.

The ministers also addressed the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Estonia and Hungary.

After the meeting and the press conference, the ministers visited an exhibition at the National Library of Estonia dedicated to the centenary of diplomatic relations between Estonia and Hungary.