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Statement of intent for enhancing cooperation between Estonia and the United Kingdom

11. March 2021 - 17:21


The close friendship between Estonia and the United Kingdom has flourished since the Royal Navy lent its support to Estonia in the 1918-1920 War of Independence. This close partnership, with shared values and common goals, has grown stronger decade by decade since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations on January 26, 1921. As we celebrate this centenary year, our two countries will work together to take a forward looking and comprehensive approach to strengthen our relationship through joint bilateral, regional and international incentives. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, we will deepen the collaboration that is already well-established, and seek out new areas for co-operation.

Bilaterally, we commit to enhanced partnership and co-operation between Estonia and the United Kingdom in the coming decade, building on the existing bilateral relations and friendship between our countries. We commit to engage in promoting and facilitating political dialogue, defence and security co-operation, digital and trade, education and research, culture, and people-to-people contacts. We will work together to address global issues; promoting human rights and working to tackle climate challenges by jointly urging countries to raise the ambition of their climate targets. We will enhance collaboration and share expertise to shine a spotlight on media freedom that began with the inaugural Conference in London in 2019 and continues with the Global Conference in Estonia in November 2021.

Internationally, our shared democratic values and a desire to promote and defend the rules-based international system will form the bedrock of our collaboration. We will use these values to work on common issues in multilateral fora, including, but not limited to: holding those to account who undermine the integrity of international commitments and the international rules based system and supporting the democratic and human rights of people in Russia and Belarus; supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity; and intensifying work on Women, Peace and Security. We will forge our partnership beyond national interests in international fora, especially within the United Nations and as members of the UN Security Council in 2021, in support of the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals. As allies and partners in NATO and other regional security initiatives, we will contribute jointly to the stability and safety of the Baltic Sea region and beyond. The United Kingdom’s role as NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) framework nation in Estonia is a firm commitment to that undertaking. We will strive for intensified co-operation through NATO cyber policy and the promotion of cyber research and development. We will share expertise and policy approaches to improving the prosperity of our peoples, and those across the world.

With these shared objectives, we will successfully build on the existing excellent bilateral relations and friendship between our countries.

Signed on 11 March 2021 in Tallinn by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom Dominic Raab.

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