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At the history seminar dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, held in the Parliament of Sweden the Riksdag today, close parliamentary connections and mutually supportive good relations were highlighted.

President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas recalled in his speech that Estonia’s restored independence had not been recognized at once, achieving it took both persistent action and talks, and the international community had to be convinced that Estonia’s claim of statehood was justified. “Fortunately, we were not left alone in this struggle,” Ratas said, and thanked friends and allies for their support.

The Kingdom of Sweden re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 27 August 1991 and was the very first country to appoint its ambassador to Estonia. Swedish Ambassador Lars Arne Grundberg started his assignment in Tallinn only nine days after the restoration of independence.

Ratas pointed out in his speech that the young generation in Estonia had grown up having no personal memory of the Soviet regime. He remarked that on 17 October the young people who have been born in the EU member state Estonia would use their right to vote in the local elections. “The life speeds fast forward, and we think less and less of the past,” Ratas admitted. “Events like the today’s seminar help us to reconnect with important landmarks of our history.”

Speaker of the Riksdag Dr Andreas Norlén, who opened the seminar, emphasised the close relations between Sweden and the Baltic States during the last three decades. He said that the three Baltic States had had to fight for their independence and for restoration of their independence. Sweden could support the Baltic Stated by becoming the first country that opened its diplomatic representations. Speaker of the Riksdag assured that the interparliamentary communication that had started in these times continued today and would also continue in the future.

The President of the Riigikogu is accompanied on the visit by Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Enn Eesmaa and Chair of the Estonia-Sweden Parliamentary Group Yoko Alender, who met with Second Deputy Speaker of the Riksdag Lotta Jonsson Fornarve. At the luncheon hosted by the Deputy Speaker, the events of 30 years ago were recalled and current problems, like overcoming the COVID pandemic and the need to tackle the spread of false information hindering the opening of societies, were discussed.

The joint meeting with members of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defence, which took place in the afternoon, mainly focused on different aspects of the security of the region. Traditional as well as cyber and hybrid threats were discussed. The need to support the Eastern Partnership and to have closer cooperation with like-minded countries outside the European Union was admitted. It was unanimously found that the Nordic and Baltic (NB8) cooperation had a great potential in transatlantic relations.

Tomorrow the Speakers of the Parliaments of Estonia. Latvia and Lithuania will have an audience with His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Photos of the visit

Riigikogu Press Service
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