Government of the Republic of Estonia

09/23/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/23/2020 06:27

Jüri Ratas: Cross-border cooperation with Finland and Sweden is very important

Stenbock House, Tallinn, 22 September 2020 - On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu met with the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven.

'We are pleased that work-related travel will continue, since it has an important impact on many families and the economic welfare of our two countries', said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas after meeting with Sanna Marin, in Helsinki.

'We consider close coordination in establishing travel restrictions to be important. For us, it is crucial to maintain the work-related travel when establishing travel restrictions with Finland', added Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu.

Bilateral cooperation and the topics of the upcoming European Council meeting were also discussed during the visit involving the two countries. According to Ratas, the upcoming European Council should give strong guidelines in order to speed up digital transition in Europe and to set the aim of providing access to a trusted and secure electronic identity for all Europeans.

The importance of digitalisation and cross-border data exchange increased even more in bilateral cooperation due to the COVID pandemic. 'It is very positive that Estonian and Finnish business registers commenced data exchange, and digital prescriptions now also work in both directions. We must also work to enable data exchange between the tax and population registers', said Ratas. 'We continue to invite Sweden to join X-Road. In four months, Estonia and Sweden will be celebrating the centenary of entering into diplomatic relations, and this is an excellent reason for strengthening our bilateral cooperation', he added.

Also discussed at the meeting with Stefan Löfven were climate issues and the situation in Belarus. Speaking of Belarus, Ratas emphasised that consistent international efforts and pressure are necessary to contribute to the ending of violence and the development of political dialogue within the country.