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Presidents Kaljulaid and Putin discuss Estonian-Russian relations in Moscow

 Presidents Kaljulaid and Putin discuss Estonian-Russian relations in Moscow
Delegations meeting in Moscow.
© Stanislav Moshkov

18.04.2019

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow today. The main topics of their meeting were relations between the two countries, economic cooperation and the international situation generally.

“It is better to talk to each other than about each other, and that was the reason for the meeting today,” President Kaljulaid said after the meeting, adding that it is important to speak even if you know that there are fundamental differences of opinion on certain issues. “But there are always issues in the relationship between two neighbours where our interests coincide and where we can do something for our people and businesses.”

During the meeting, which lasted for two-and-a-half hours, there was a thorough discussion of cross-border cooperation between the two countries, as well as of various opportunities for enhancing both economic and international relations.

“Estonia is a candidate for the UN Security Council and conflicts in the world affect us all in one way or another,” President Kaljulaid said. “President Putin and I talked in some detail about conflicts and possible solutions to them in Ukraine and Georgia, where the position of Estonia and the European Union is very clear.”

In discussing economic issues, it was acknowledged that trade between the two countries had decreased over the years and that there were issues that should be resolved in the interests of both sides. By way of example, the Head of State noted the contractual basis of the transport sector, which is currently obsolete, as well as possible steps to avoid double taxation.

The Presidents also discussed at some length the subjects of Nord Stream 2 and the European frequency synchronisation of Estonia’s electricity networks.

In addition, Presidents Kaljulaid and Putin discussed ongoing cross-border cooperation. President Kaljulaid stressed that with the next EU financial period approaching, and with both sides interested in continuing to pursue cross-border cooperation, it was important to find common priorities on which to focus.

The Heads of State briefly discussed the issue of the Estonian-Russian border agreement. “The two previous Parliaments of Estonia took the first step,” said President Kaljulaid after the meeting. “Whether Estonia is ready to take that step again depends on the new Parliament. I believe it is always easier to carry on within the framework of existing agreements.”

President Kaljulaid also invited her Russian colleague to Tartu, which will host the 8th World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples in 2020.

Photos of the meeting by Stanislav Moshkov can be found here: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ag25riT1wiNQg7h-jxBY9Syq2xlxsQ

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