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Foreign Minister Paet in Riga: Intensifying Co-operation in Energy and Transport Sectors is in Estonia and Latvia’s Interests

17.02.2012

No. 35-E

In meetings with Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and Latvian Minister of Transport Aivis Ronis in Riga yesterday, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet discussed opportunities to intensify co-operation in the energy and transport sectors. “It is in our interests to securely connect the energy and transport networks of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the European Union’s infrastructure, and in order to achieve this goal we must speak with one voice and work together even more resolutely,” Paet emphasised.

Foreign Minister Paet stated that Estonia would like to increase its energy security and liquidate the “Baltic energy island” by 2015. “For example, in order to ensure our energy security it is essential to establish a third line in the Estonia-Latvia electrical connection from Pärnu to Riga,” he said. Paet also expressed hope that Latvia is willing to move forward with issues regarding the regulation of electricity imported from third countries. “This is a necessary step practically and politically in order to give investors confidence when investing in electricity production in the Baltic states,” he added.

While talking about establishing the Rail Baltic railway, Paet noted that co-operation among Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in this area has recently been constructive and fruitful. “At the same time it is essential that we intensify preparation work for Rail Baltic even more so that we could utilise the European Union financial resources as effectively as possible,” he asserted. “In the near future we should also take a co-ordinated approach to addressing thematic plans for the railway, as these will later provide the basis for detailed technical projects,” he added. The foreign minister expressed hope that during the year 2012 a joint corporation could be created that would start to play a central role in the development work and leadership of the project.

In his meeting with the Latvian prime minister, the two also addressed security policy issues. Together they acknowledged that the agreement among NATO countries to continue the air policing mission over Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is a vital security guarantee for the entire region. “Our common goal was for Baltic airspace policing to be a long-term NATO mission with no end date, and good co-operation among us certainly helped us achieve the desired outcome,” Paet noted.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs announced the winner of the Estonian-Latvian/Latvian-Estonian translation award in Riga today. The prize was awarded to Kalev Kalkun for translating Nora Ikstena’s novel “The Virgin’s Lesson” into Estonian.

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