Ratas: Estonian and Latvian economic relations and defence cooperation are increasing

May 16
Created: 16 May 2019

Today, on an official visit to Latvia, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and his Latvian counterpart Krišjānis Kariņš discussed economic and defence cooperation. The two prime ministers also talked about major regional projects, like Rail Baltic, along with Estonian and Latvian joint interests in the European Union and NATO.

“Estonia and Latvian are closely cooperating on defence. A very important step for our region is the establishing of the headquarters of NATO’s Multinational Division North in Ādaži. Latvia is a valuable strategic partner for Estonia and our cooperation helps strengthen our security even more,” Ratas said.

Kariņš and Ratas also discussed the future strategy of the European Union, following up on the discussions, which started at the informal council meeting in Romania. “Advance voting in the European Parliament elections is due to begin in Estonia tomorrow. The European Union is faced with the challenge of improving the welfare of all citizens, and we will have to make some important strategic choices after the election. Small countries with an open economy, like Estonia and Latvia, prioritise enhancing the EU internal market, which would guarantee equal opportunities and good regional connections, along with a uniform foreign policy and Eastern Partnership, which is very important for our region.”

Discussing the economic cooperation, Ratas and Kariņš also touched upon the cross-border cooperation of the two countries as well as major regional projects. “Estonia and Latvia are very close countries with a very close economic cooperation, we are important for each other as export partners and target markets for investments,” Prime Minister Ratas said at the meeting. “We are currently working on major projects that are important to the Nordic region as well as the Baltic states, such as establishing Rail Baltic, desynchronising Baltic power grids from the Russian network, and opening the energy market. Each of them can make good progress only if we act in unison and walk side by side.”

After the meeting, Prime Minister Ratas will visit the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence and meet with Colonel Peeter Tali, Deputy Director of the centre, who will introduce the centre’s work on fighting against disinformation and the influencing of elections.