Estonian Prime Minister met with his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, in Tallinn, Estonia on January 10, 2020. Picture: Raul Mee/The Estonian Government

The talks between Prime Minister Sanna Marin (the SDP) and her Estonian counterpart, Jüri Ratas, in Tallinn on Friday focused on bilateral relations, transport and energy connections between the two countries, the security situation in the Middle East and topics related to the future of the European Union.

“I am very pleased to welcome my colleague today. The friendship between Estonia and Finland is strong and timeless, something we want to develop,” said Prime Minister Ratas.

He stressed that the bilateral cooperation between Estonia and Finland is constantly deepening. “For example, we soon hope to reach a new level of digital cooperation.”

According to Ratas, the joint efforts between Finland and Estonia “have led to us hopefully being able to use digital prescriptions on both sides of the Gulf of Finland soon.” “We are working towards further improving the data exchange between the different registers of Estonia and Finland,” Ratas said.

Marin said that the Baltic Sea has always had great significance in the cooperation between Estonia and Finland. “The Baltic Sea region is important for security policy and for protecting trade.”

Marin and Ratas also addressed the situation in the Middle East. “Members of our defense forces are in Iraq to support and train the local security forces, and attacks against them must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Tensions should be quickly alleviated. We are working to keep the guns silent and the diplomats talking,” said Ratas.

Prime Minister Marin also made a courtesy visit to Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. Picture: Päivi Anttikoski / The Finnish Government

Concerning topics related to the European Union, the prime ministers confirmed that they both support the European Union’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and the advancement of the Green Deal. “The next long-term budget must contribute to the achievement of climate goals and it is therefore important that its overall volume does not decrease compared to the current period,” said Ratas.

Marin said that it’s of most importance for Finland that an environmentally sustainable society is righteous to people. People shouldn’t be burdened by the costs.

There was also talk of the expansion of the European Union and future relations with the United Kingdom after Brexit. The prime ministers also discussed matters of regional security.