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At their meeting today, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas and Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament of Lithuania) Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen spoke about foreign and security policy, Baltic defence cooperation as well as energy and transport issues. Cooperation in supporting Belarus was discussed in greater detail.

Both speakers affirmed that the relations between Estonia and Lithuania as well as their cooperation in NATO and the European Union was excellent. Ratas said that transport connections, including Rail Baltica, had an important place in the Baltic cooperation. The same can be said about energy security and synchronisation of power networks.

Supporting of the Eastern Partnership countries, especially the situation in Belarus and different possibilities for influencing it, was deliberated more thoroughly. Donating of vaccines to the Eastern Partnership countries was also spoken about.

Both speakers expressed satisfaction that the spread of the coronavirus was slowing down, and under eased restrictions, it was again possible to meet face to face.

The Speaker of the Seimas said that Estonia’s experience in the field of cyber defence was an example to Lithuania. She added that Lithuania was also interested in the organisation of the Estonian education system. The Lithuanian Speaker thanked Estonia for supporting the idea of closing down the first nuclear power station in Belarus, launched in Astravets (Astravyets) near the Lithuanian border.

The meeting was also attended by Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson and Head of the Estonian Delegation to the Baltic Assembly Aadu Must. Mihkelson confirmed the long and excellent foreign policy cooperation between the two countries. In his opinion, close cooperation is important for maintaining Europe’s unity and transatlantic relations. It is also necessary for countering Russia’s aggressions and the increase of China’s influence. Must pointed out that the relationship of Baltic states in the Baltic Assembly was also important and very close.  

In the afternoon, the Speaker of the Parliament of Lithuania met with with Vice-President of the Riigikogu Hanno Pevkur. Head of the Estonian delegation to the Baltic Assembly Aadu Must and Deputy Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Riina Sikkut participated in the meeting. The Speaker of the Seimas also had meetings with Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chairman of the Estonia-Lithuania Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Riigikogu Erki Savisaar and Deputy Chair of the Social Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Helmen Kütt.

Photos of the meeting Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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