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The President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor and the Speaker of the British House of Commons John Bercow talked about interparliamentary cooperation, the upcoming European Parliament elections and the situation in Ukraine. 

The parties concluded that relations between Estonia and the United Kingdom are excellent, close and functional. The last years have been busy with meetings and visits, while cooperation and partnership have become closer in many fields. Eiki Nestor expressed his joy that the relations between the two parliaments have become more active. The National Defence Committee and the State Budget Control Select Committee of the Riigikogu recently visited London, and the representatives of the two foreign affairs committees have also met. Friendship groups are active in both parliaments. The President of the Riigikogu expressed his interest in closer working contacts and in introducing a partnerships between other committees as well. 

In the context of the upcoming European Parliament elections, Bercow explained that the sceptical stance of the UK regarding certain political directions of the European Union is not directed against the Union as a whole. UK values the efficient functioning of the EU. 

The parties voiced a serious concern for the events in Ukraine and the actions of Russia, which violate all international principles and agreements. Nestor referred to the caution and warnings against the Eastern threat verbalised by the Baltic states after regaining their independence, which the West often brushed aside as an attitude “from the past”. “We were told to think and act positive. This is what we did, by making preparations and joining NATO and the EU ten years ago. But now Russia’s actions have clearly proved that our caution and warnings were justified,” said Nestor. 

The two Speakers acknowledged the close defence cooperation between the two countries. Our partnership in Afghanistan is very important and should be continued after the end of the military mission. Cyber defence cooperation is developing. A UK company will take part in the military training exercise Kevadtorm, just like last year. 

Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Kaja Kallas and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa also took part in the meeting. 

The meeting ended with Bercow inviting the President of the Riigikogu to visit the UK. The visitor also spoke to the Riigikogu. 

John Bercow is also planning to meet with President of the Republic Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas. He gave a lecture at the Tallinn University and visited the ICT Demo Centre. 

Photos of the meeting  :

The Riigikogu Press Service