Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Enn Eesmaa said that it was welcome that the members of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the three Baltic states continued the tradition that started already in 1997, and he was happy that now it had been possible to hold the next meeting so soon after the parliamentary elections in Lithuania.
In Eesmaa’s opinion, we need to hold discussions with our partners often, because the unity of the region is important, and in order to achieve that, it is necessary to know the positions of the partners. “Through direct contacts, it is possible to get answers to your questions quickly, to present your opinions and to bring ideas that can be developed together on the table,” Eesmaa said.
Eesmaa was happy that all three Baltic states also stood out on the global level, contributing to shaping of opinions in the UN Security Council, where Lithuania has been the non-permanent member, Estonia is the non-permanent member at present and Latvia will put up its candidacy soon.
Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson underlined that the parliamentary cooperation of the Baltic region was very important, and it was necessary to continue and boost it at the level of the Foreign Affairs Committees. He thinks that first of all, the Foreign Affairs Committees have to establish fast and substantial contacts with the new administration of the United States to strengthen the transatlantic relations.
In their introductory speeches, the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees gave an overview of the political developments in their countries and organisation of work during the COVID pandemic. Of regional issues, the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant, which was opened near the Lithuanian border in Belarus, and the energy and security situation relating to it were spoken about. The situation in Belarus, Moldova and Nagorno-Karabakh, and supporting and extending of the sanctions against Russia were also discussed. Franak Viačorka, representative of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the leader of Belarusian opposition, given the floor to speak as the guest of Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
Permanent Representative of Estonia to the United Nations Sven Jürgenson gave an overview of the topics currently under discussion in the UN Security Council.
The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Raimond Kaljulaid, Indrek Saar and Raivo Tamm were also present at the meeting. It was decided that Lithuania would organise the next meeting.