Today, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Lauri Hussar, who is on an official visit to Finland, met with Speaker of the Eduskunta (Parliament of Finland) Jussi Halla-aho, President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, with whom he discussed the strengthening of regional security, including cooperation in coping with refugee pressure from Russia.
Hussar said at the meetings that Estonia and Finland were very good neighbours, partners and allies who cooperate closely in many areas. Hussar underlined that it was necessary to continue active cooperation between the Governments and the Parliaments of both countries, and this was particularly important in the fields of defence and security, considering the tense geopolitical situation.
Hussar specifically emphasised the importance of operational information exchange and cooperation on issues related to the protection of critical underwater infrastructure and the refugee pressure from Russia. “Estonia is carefully monitoring the current developments on the eastern border and we are prepared for a situation where refugee pressure on our border should also increase significantly. We are cooperating closely with Finland in this issue and we are ready to support Finland if necessary,” he said.
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the possibilities of supporting Ukraine together were also discussed at the meetings. “We must continue to work to bring to justice all those responsible for the crimes committed in Ukraine, including crime of aggression, and to establish for that a special tribunal with maximum international support. Russia must also compensate Ukraine for the damage caused by its actions,” Hussar noted, and pointed out that a Bill creating the possibility to use Russia’s assets frozen under international sanctions to compensate the war damages caused to Ukraine had passed the first reading in the Riigikogu this week.
Hussar also underlined that in order to win the war, Ukraine continued to need every possible support and assistance from us. “The countries of the West must not let their attention be diverted. Among other things, we must continue providing military assistance to Ukraine and support them on their path to the EU and NATO membership,” he said.
Today, Hussar also met with Chairs of parliamentary groups and committees as well as the leaders of the Finland-Estonia parliamentary friendship group. Together with the Speaker of Finnish Parliament, he opened the festive seminar dedicated to the 100th anniversary of teaching the Estonian language and culture in Finland, held at the University of Helsinki. Tonight he attends the reception on the occasion of announcing the programme of the European Capital of Culture 2024 Tartu at the Embassy of Estonia.
Tomorrow, Hussar will attend the cultural festival Martin Markkinat at the Cable Factory culture centre in Helsinki. It is the largest event promoting the Estonian culture in Finland. This year the event, organised by Tuglas Seura, will focus on Tartu and South Estonia, the European Capital of Culture 2024.
The President of the Riigikogu is accompanied on the visit by Chair Anti Poolamets and Deputy Chair Kadri Tali of the Estonia-Finland Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Photos (Erik Peinar / Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
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