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Baltic Assembly and Baltic Council of Ministers committed to strengthen Baltic partnership

On June 10, digital meeting between the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and H.E. Urmas Reinsalu, Chair of the Cooperation Council of the Baltic Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia, took place.

Main topic of the meeting was cooperation of the Baltic Assembly and Baltic Council of Ministers under the Estonian presidency. President of the Baltic Assembly Prof Aadu Must said that cooperation between the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers is highly appreciated. "We share the same values and aim for Baltic cooperation to be strong and with practical results," highlighted President.

H.E. Urmas Reinsalu highlighted that cooperation of the Baltic states is important and especially during harsh times.  "We have a similar history with Latvia and Lithuania, and we have the same values. We have shared foreign policy objectives and we are like-minded neighbours that enjoy extensive cooperation and active contacts at all levels and in all areas. Our partnership comes naturally," Reinsalu noted.

Chair of the Cooperation Council of the Baltic Council of Ministers also added that recommendations of the Baltic Assembly are on the table of governments of the Baltic states.

During the meeting, the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and H.E. Urmas Reinsalu also discussed issues related to COVID-19 created crisis in the Baltic States. Both sides are convinced that cooperation currently is of essence, especially in the process of lifting of different measures and recovering from the crisis. 

President of the Baltic Assembly said that the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic put Baltic solidarity to serious test and pointed out vulnerabilities in trilateral cooperation - aspects of timely information exchange, joint coordination of emergency measures in the region, ensuring proper functioning of border-crossings and joint procurement of emergency medical supplies.

Must also noted that the Baltic Assembly appreciates that governments of the Baltic states were able to adapt very quickly and strengthen cooperation in current emergency conditions. "We welcome joint measures of our governments in emergency repatriation, exchange of information and approaches in the fight against the virus and formation of a joint working group aimed at coordination of border-related issues as well as jointly opening the Baltic borders," Must said.

President of the Baltic Assembly believes that in light of recent events parliaments and governments of the Baltic states need to 1) take stock of the coordinated among Baltic states crisis management capacity; 2) elaborate an ambitious and coordinated approach for overcoming the crisis and 3) envisage post-crisis measures aimed at reducing negative impact on economies, security, social sphere and employment in the Baltic states.

In 2020, Estonia is chairing the Presidency in the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers. The Estonian Presidency focuses on strengthening of cohesion, competitiveness and interconnectivity of the Baltic Region. Motto of the Presidency "Partnership. Trust. Future." confirms this strategic orientation of the Estonian Presidency. See Priorities of the Baltic Assembly for 2020 here.

Digital meeting between the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and H.E. Urmas Reinsalu

Members of the Presidium of the Baltic Assembly and H.E. Urmas Reinsalu

© Photos by Estonian Foreign Ministry and the Baltic Assembly