Today 9 April, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets spoke on the phone to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“Estonia and Russia are neighbours and neighbours need to talk. Despite the fact that we have disagreements and our views on many issues differ. In our phone call, I raised the ratification of the border treaty signed by our countries in 2014 as an important bilateral topic, with the current Estonian government having announced its readiness to move forward on this issue. A border treaty that has entered into force would provide crucial security for Estonia and our allies. This concerns both our security as well as the fight against organised crime, drugs and smuggling, and human trafficking. We agreed we must continue consultations,” the Estonian foreign minister said.
“Several agreements that are important for Estonia and Russia are still under preparation and we should make progress with them as well. These include agreements on road transport, amending our cooperation on pension insurance, the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital, and railway agreements also need to be changed,” she added.
Both ministers said the cross-border cooperation of Estonia and Russia has been a success story. “Here, planning and providing input for the new programming period (2021-2027) of cross-border cooperation offers a good opportunity. With this in mind, I proposed boosting environmental and climate cooperation,” Minister Liimets said.
When it comes to international relations, Estonia considers upholding international law crucial, including respect for territorial integrity and human rights. “I voiced serious concern to my Russian colleague over the military escalation in and around Ukraine. It is important for Russia to meet its international commitments and make efforts to resolve the situation peacefully,” Eva-Maria Liimets said.
In the phone call, Minister Eva-Maria Liimets also outlined Estonia’s application for observer status on the Arctic Council, where it aims to advance scientific cooperation between the countries and contribute to the sustainable development of the Arctic.
The most recent meeting of the foreign ministers of Estonia and Russia was held in 2015.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia