At the meeting of the Speakers of the Nordic and Baltic parliaments at the Arvo Pärt Centre at Laulasmaa today, the President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas said that our regional security was indivisible. Besides security, the Speakers of eight countries spoke of Eastern Partnership, the relations with Russia, and the fight against disinformation and influencing activities.
Põlluaas said that one of the main threats emanated from the deterioration of the global rule-based order. “Our political approach at international organisations must be united and systemic. We must continue to aspire to ensure collective activities within NATO, and European Union joint measures,” Põlluaas said to his colleagues. “We must unite our voice to demand that Moscow change its behaviour.”
Põlluaas said that Russia’s systematic destabilising and aggressive behaviour affected not only its neighbours but the whole Euro-Atlantic region. “In our bilateral approach we must keep the sanction regime on Russia in place until termination of aggression in eastern Ukraine, and at the same time improve ties with Russian society,” Põlluaas said. He expressed hope in further development of Nordic and Baltic cooperation, which should move from an exchange of information and ideas to coordination of common positions on topical issues.
At the meeting, the Latvian and Lithuanian Speakers pointed out the need to support Eastern Partnership countries more strongly, to involve them in joint activity, and to share our experiences in furthering democracy on mutual visits. The Speakers of the Nordic parliaments stressed the increasing importance of the environment and climate policy in shaping the policy and ensuring security in the region.
Countering information attacks and raising people’s awareness in recognising disinformation were also discussed. The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, and continuing close relations in the future, especially in foreign policy, defence and security, were also spoken of. With regard to all the issues discussed, the speakers stressed the need to continue cooperation with the help of digital solutions, besides meetings.
The Nordic-Baltic cooperation, or NB8, is a regional cooperation format that brings Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania around the same table. Iceland holds the NB8 presidency this year. Estonia will take over the presidency next year.
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