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Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus: The views of Estonia and the United Kingdom are very similar regarding the security situation


Meeting today in Tallinn, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond discussed the situation in Ukraine which has evolved as a result of Russian aggression, and also bilateral security cooperation, the future of the European Union and the detainment of Estonian and British citizens in India.

On the subject of the European Union's future reform, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that Estonia would like a more efficient European Union that has development potential. "The views of Estonia and the United Kingdom regarding foreign and security policy, an open internal market, trade policy and the digital market are very similar. Further reforms are essential, in order for the European Union to remain strong and competitive," the Foreign Minister said. Pentus-Rosimannus added that an internal market, including a digital internal market, is essential for the functioning of a strong, open, and integrated EU. Cooperation is also important, given that Estonia takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the United Kingdom in 2018.

Speaking about security issues, Pentus-Rosimannus stressed that Estonia greatly appreciates bilateral defence cooperation and partnership with NATO. "Estonia and the United Kingdom have been close allies and partners in Afghanistan and we want to continue defence cooperation," she added. The Foreign Minister thanked her British counterpart for his country's contribution to Baltic air policing. The United Kingdom also contributes to the NATO Cooperative Cyber ​​Defence Centre's activities.

The Estonian and British Foreign Ministers also spoke about the fight against the terrorist organization ISIL.

On the subject of bilateral cyber and e-government cooperation, Pentus-Rosimannus said that Estonia and the UK both have valuable experience to share and jointly develop. "We see great potential for cooperation for creating secure government e-services by means of the X-Road data exchange environment. We would like to see an X-Road type of solution being used more widely throughout Europe, helping to contribute to the development of the EU's e-services and digital single market," the Foreign Minister said. Cyber cooperation between Estonia and the United Kingdom is also extensive within the framework of NATO.

Pentus-Rosimannus acknowledged the UK for launching the Digital-5 cooperative network for countries with high-level e-government solutions. The UK, Estonia, Israel, South Korea and New Zealand are part of the network. Its purpose is to exchange experiences and best practices regarding the development of information society and e-government. In November of this year, a large joint network conference will take place in Tallinn.

The Estonian and UK Foreign Ministers also spoke about cooperation in regards to the case of the 35 crew members of the ship belonging to the AdvanFort company, which was detained near the Indian coast. "We want a solution to the case as soon as possible," Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus stressed.

On the subject of Russian aggression in Ukraine, Pentus-Rosimannus stressed that the inevitable prerequisite for a political solution is adherence to the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry as agreed to in Minsk. "If the Minsk agreements are not respected, the European Union must adopt additional restrictive measures against Russia," she added. The Foreign Minister added that Russia must ensure that observers of the OSCE special mission be allowed unimpeded and safe access to the conflict area.


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