Today, President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Jüri Ratas held a video conference with Speaker of the Althing (Parliament of Iceland) Steingrímur Jóhann Sigfússon. They spoke about Iceland’s historical role in restoration of the independence of Estonia and the close cooperation between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States.
“Estonians will always remember that Iceland was the first country to recognize our restored independence on 22 August 1991,” Ratas said to his Icelandic colleague, who was a member of the Government of Iceland at that time.
Ratas expressed hope that when the coronavirus threat was over, it would be possible to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence together in August this year, and invited the Speaker of the Althing to join the celebrations.
During the video meeting, the Speakers of the Parliaments of Estonia and Iceland exchanged experiences of teleworking in their parliaments and discussed the parliamentary cooperation between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States.
“The close cooperation between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States has increased the importance of our region, and continuation of this cooperation is one of our priorities,” Ratas emphasised. In his opinion, there is a great potential in digital and cyber cooperation, like exchange of data in border crossing or in the health sphere.
“Estonia is always ready to share both its positive and negative experience, and to learn from the experience of other countries,” Ratas said. “We are grateful for Iceland’s participation in the eFP and look forward to your decision on partnership in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre in Tallinn.”
Ratas thanked Iceland for the valuable advice Estonia had received in their campaign for the observer status in the Arctic Council.
Both Speakers also considered it necessary to cooperate in the European Economic Area, and to do more together to support the Eastern Partners and the development cooperation in Africa.
The Speaker of the Althing congratulated Jüri Ratas on being elected the President of the Riigikogu.
Photos (Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
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