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Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Discussed Development of Estonia-Russia Relations

06.06.2013

No 195-E

During their meeting in Kaliningrad today, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke about preparations for signing the Estonia-Russia border treaties. The Estonian and Russian foreign ministers each gave an overview of the domestic preparation of the drafts in preparation for the signing.

Estonia and Russia are also moving forward with preparations to sign other bilateral agreements. “We hope to sign an agreement for co-operation in emergency situations, a diplomatic property agreement, and an agreement related to higher education in the near future, as well as to move forward with the cross-border co-operation agreement,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

Paet and Lavrov expressed satisfaction with the fact that positive developments have taken place in Estonia and Russia’s economic relations. “Russia has become Estonia’s third biggest trade partner,” said Foreign Minister Paet. “Tourism relations have also picked up. Last year nearly a third more Russian tourists visited Estonia than previously,” he added.

Paet expressed hope that Russia would soon begin to ratify the Estonia-Russia agreement for the prevention of double taxation. “We are also addressing putting an end to Russia’s ban on livestock imports,” he added.

The ministers also talked about the upcoming visit of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill to Estonia.

Paet and Lavrov also talked about improving the border-crossing infrastructure. “Ensuring smooth border crossings is necessary for the easy movement of people and goods. We feel it is very important to develop the cross-border infrastructure, including building a new bridge on the Narva River,” Paet added.

The ministers said that co-operation with Russia within the framework of the European Union Cross-Border Co-operation Programme has gone well. “A great deal of joint projects take place within the trilateral co-operation of Estonia, Latvia and Russia. We would like to continue with this co-operation in the future,” Paet added.

Paet and Lavrov also discussed Russia’s relations with the European Union, including the visa waiver dialogue between the EU and Russia.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/8967969043/

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