Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Marko Mihkelson met with Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs Edward Royce yesterday in Washington. Royce’s forthcoming visit to Estonia, practical aspects of bilateral relations and the relations between the USA and Russia were discussed at the meeting.
“The relations between Estonia and the USA are very intensive at present,” Mihkelson said after the meeting. “This has certainly been influenced by the image of Estonia as an ally that meets its obligations, which is an excellent precondition for expanding cooperation, among other things, also in trade relations.”
At the meeting, Royce gave a detailed overview of the ongoing debate in the House of Representatives on the Russia sanctions bill, which would considerably increase the role of the Congress in deciding on the sanctions against Russia. Mihkelson said that Royce had expressed hope the bill would be approved in the coming days.
Steps taken against the influencing activities of Russia were also discussed at the meeting. Mihkelson emphasised that Estonia and the USA could take their cooperation in cyber defence to a more practical level.
Royce will visit Estonia in the first half of August.
Mihkelson also met with Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Eliot Engel, and members of the Congress Mike Gallagher, Brian Fitzpatrick, Gregory Meeks, Joe Wilson.
On Thursday, Mihkelson spoke at the seminar on the relations between the USA and the European Union, which was held at the Congress. He gave an overview of the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. On Tuesday, Mihkeson delivered the opening speech at the seminar on Russia’s large-scale military exercise Zapad at Atlantic Council, one of the most well-known think tanks in Washington.
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