Paet focuses on Czech relations

  • 2005-06-29
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, currently on an official visit to the Czech Republic, said he believes the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union is a good compromise.

Paet and his Czech counterpart, Cyril Svoboda, agree that the ratification of the EU charter must continue, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry told the Baltic News Service.

"The Constitutional Treaty is indeed a compromise, but a good one," Paet said. "Ten countries have already approved the Constitutional Treaty and the opinion of those nations must not be ignored."

During their meeting, the ministers observed that Estonian-Czech relations were stable, although mutual investments were next to nonexistent.

According to Paet, more attention should be paid to promoting business openings between the two countries, and a good opportunity for this could be markets in Tallinn and Brno.

The ministers also discussed the Estonian-Russia border treaty situation. Svoboda said he understands Estonia's position. "Given our common recent past, we understand Estonia's concern," the Czech minister said.

In response to the EU Council's failure to reach an agreement on the bloc's budget, Paet said the financial perspective was not solely a matter of appropriations. "Of importance is the political message we'll be sending to European nations - which way Europe will head in future," he said.

However, the Estonian minister found several sensible British proposals for the budget structure. "One possibility is to adopt the budget and then make running corrections in its structure," he said. At the same time he condemned delaying the adoption of the EU budget and approving the budget on a yearly basis.

During Paet's meeting with Defense Minister Karel Kuehnl, the countries' participation in international missions was made a priority. Taking part in missions abroad is essential for small states, as it contributes to both domestic and international security, the ministers agreed.

The foreign minister and Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Milan Urban discussed energy supply reliability in the EU, a planned natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, and the EU-Russia energy dialogue.