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Estonia Supports Accession of Latvia and Lithuania to Euro Zone and OECD

12.11.2012

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At the Baltic Council held today in Vilnius, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia supports the accession of Latvia and Lithuania to the euro zone as well as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Paet stated that it is in the common interests of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to stand up for the further development of the European Union internal market. “For example, if in addition to e-Estonia there is a well-functioning e-Latvia and e-Lithuania – even an e-Nordic region – it is more likely that we will be able to convince the entire European Union to create a digital internal market, support internet freedom, and increase cyber security,” said the foreign minister.

The development of a regional energy infrastructure and transportation connections also requires our co-operation. “It is vitally important to develop connections with Western Europe. A project that would help us achieve that is Rail Baltic,” Paet asserted.

The foreign minister added that the goal is to complete the construction of the railway connection Rail Baltic. “The window of opportunity to utilise European Union funds in order to fulfil this goal has never been as open as it is right now. We must not let this opportunity slip away,” he emphasised.

A central theme in the co-operation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is energy and the diversification of suppliers and connections. Connections allow for the development of energy trade and the energy market in the entire region. “Therefore I am pleased that the construction of Estlink 2 began on 15 October. There are also plans to build the NordBalt undersea cable between Lithuania and Sweden and the Lit-Pol-Link between Lithuania and Poland,” said Paet.

The foreign minister said that our entire region must be as consistent in the security sector as we have been economically and financially. “In addition to the fact that Estonia spends 2% of its GDP on its defence budget, we achieved an indefinite deadline for the policing of Lithuania, Latvian and Estonian airspace and have together decided to contribute more to that mission. Our cyber capabilities are also growing,” he stated. However, Paet emphasised that in order to avoid the isolation of our region we still need a strong NATO presence. “Just as we support the accession of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to the euro, we would be happy to see Finland and Sweden have even closer co-operation with NATO,” he stated.

A meeting of the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also took place today, during which they discussed regional co-operation and European Union topics, including the EU’s new financial framework for 2014-2020 and Eastern Partnership, as well as matters related to Lithuania’s upcoming EU presidency.

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
+372 637 7654
press@mfa.ee
www.vm.ee

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