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Deliberation of the state?s foreign policy as a matter of significant national importance was held in the Riigikogu today. Reports were made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristiina Ojuland and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson.


?The mission of our foreign policy will be to ensure the security and well-being of the Estonian state, people and enterprises?, said mrs. Ojuland, stressing that our position, which has become stronger because of our membership in the European Union and NATO, enables to achieve better results than before.


In her survey of the priorities of foreign policy, the Minister mentioned that the main resources would be applied to develop and protect foreign trade interests and to promote Estonian interests in the European Union. At the same time mrs. Ojuland stressed that the development co-operation would assume a more important role and the supply of several public and national services to citizens, enterprises and state institutions would also take an important place. 


Speaking about Estonia?s new role in the field of foreign policy of the European Union, the Minister stressed: ?Estonia wishes to be a rational, active and positive member of the European Union. It is in our interests to strive to make the Union as a whole a more competitive force in the economy and have a more weighty role in the foreign policy.?


In her report the Minister dealt also with issues of further enlargement of the European Union, neighbourhood policy and relations with Russia, as well as with the security and foreign economy policy and developments in the the Baltic Sea region.


The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson stressed in his report that regardless of continuous changes in the foreign policy situation, the consistency of decisions in this field was important.   ?Dynamically changing ties between states and world outlooks demand constant readiness on our part to evaluate or take steps in foreign policy. At the same time, foreign policy is traditionally considered continual policy; therefore, we should not always look for super goals.? ?


Speaking about the tasks that Estonia faces in the regional security policy, mr. Mihkelson stressed the importance of ensuring environmental safety. Mr. Mihkelson highlighted the Sosnovi Bor nuclear station near St. Petersburg, the nuclear waste facility in Ust-Luga, planned by Russia, and the single hull tankers on the Baltic Sea as the greatest environmental problems of the region.


Dealing with the developments in the field of foreign policy, mr. Mihkelson remarked that an effective cooperation between relevant administrative bodies would become more and more important. ?One of the important factors in increasing success can be furthering co-operation and coordination between ministries, foreign representations and government agencies, which are in one way or another connected with management of foreign markets.?


Mr. Mihkelson also called attention to the increase in the importance of development co-operation policy in the foreign relations of Estonia. ?If we desire active participation in shaping of the EU foreign policy, we have to pay more attention to the development co-operation policy.?


Members of the Riigikogu asked the presenters of reports numerous questions and then the negotiations were opened, lasting until the end of the sitting.



The Riigikogu Press Service