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Foreign Minister Reinsalu in Vilnius: Regional cooperation is important in recovering from the COVID-19 crisis

16. June 2020 - 10:07

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu attended a meeting with the ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland today, on 15 June. The conditions of opening the borders of the European Union to third countries were also discussed at the meeting. The ministers also talked about economic recovery, regional relations and security after the crisis.

“We must establish specific conditions here in the European Union on which third country residents will be allowed to travel here again,” said Minister Reinsalu. “We must consider the epidemiological situation in the country of destination as well as the health status of the specific traveller.”

“Economic cooperation at the regional and EU level must be continued and promoted in different directions, including to support the single market,” emphasised Reinsalu and added that global cooperation must be continued to keep international trade and transport routes open and flexible in order to minimise the already massive backlash for the economies of our states. “Close regional cooperation is also important for security aspects, and common positions in NATO are necessary for the security of the entire region,” added Reinsalu.

Minister Reinsalu said that he’s seen in Estonia how important digital society and platforms are in times like these. “E-services have helped many to continue with their activities and communicate a lot. We must also do a lot more at the European Union level – we must have digital signatures that really work throughout the Union so that citizens and companies could benefit from it.”

The Minister invited interested countries to attend the video conference organised by Estonia and Singapore on 1 July, where all the important aspects of digital transformation will be discussed. “Special attention will be given to strengthening the digital aspect of the international development cooperation policy,” said Reinsalu. “Dealing with the long-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis requires focussing the international cooperation on digital transformation and the implementation of digital services. Special attention should be given to the most vulnerable societies to make sure that the digital gap does not get bigger.”

After the meeting, the ministers placed wreaths by the monument to the victims of the Soviet occupation in the memory of the victims of the June deportation.

Photos (Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs):

At 15:00, the ministers will attend an unofficial video conference of the foreign ministers of the European Union, which focuses on a discussion of the key issues of foreign policy, such as COVID-19 and disinformation (with the focus on the activities of China and Russia), China, the peace process in the Middle East and Ukraine, with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell will make an introduction to the video call.

Additional information:

Pia Kuusik
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Media Adviser
Communication Department
+372 637 7628; +372 5635 7866


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