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Estonia's PM in Finland: No change in foreign policy line

Estonia's Prime Minister Jüri Ratas carried out his first official visit abroad on Wednesday, meeting in Helsinki with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. Ratas told a press gathering that Estonia's foreign and security policies will remain unchanged during the term of his government.

Juha Sipilä ja Jüri Ratas
Finland's Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (left) and Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas in Helsinki on Wednesday. Image: Yle

Speaking to the media in Helsinki Wednesday evening, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas pointed to three issues that he said his government can affect.

First of all, he stated that his cabinet's policies must ensure that Estonian society remains as cohesive as possible. Secondly, he stressed that Estonia will continue to fulfill its commitments to NATO and seek more resources for security policy. Finally, he said, it will maintain good neighbourly relations with Finland.

Trump defense nominee

On the subject of relations with Russia, Ratas reconfirmed Estonia's support for joint EU decisions, saying that as long as international law is not upheld relations will remain problematic.

He commented on the election of Donald Trump by saying that the election was democratic and that Estonia wishes the new US president good luck and success.

Ratas also considered it encouraging that James N. Mattis, who Trump has announced he plans to name as US secretary of defense, knows Estonia and its area well.

"A really good neighbour"

Estonia's new prime minister called Finland "a really good neighbour", pointing to both the past and to present economic ties, mentioning the development of transport links and IT cooperation as key sectors.

Ratas said he was also pleased that Finland and Estonia have a shared view of future EU policies on issues such as relations with Turkey and how the EU will look after Brexit.

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