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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 04.12.2020, 13:32

Ratas, Macron sign partnership declaration

BC, Tallinn, 29.10.2020.Print version
Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and French President Emmanuel Macron on October 28th signed a declaration on strategic partnership between the two countries, informs LETA/BNS.


Ratas, who is currently on a visit to France, stressed at the meeting that Estonia and France are close friends and strategic allies, whose relations are more substantive than ever before, spokespeople for the government said.

Ratas and Macron signed a Franco-Estonian strategic partnership declaration.

"The history of diplomatic relations between our two countries will soon reach the 100-year mark, with cultural ties stretching even further back," Ratas said in a press release, according to the English-language news portal of Estonia's public broadcaster ERR. "The declaration signed today adds substance and momentum to our dialog, and strengthens joint action in both European and transatlantic cooperation. We have to stand together in support of basic European democratic values and ideals," he said


Ratas expressed gratitude for France's substantial contribution to both the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup based in Tapa, and to the Baltic air policing mission.

Ratas also highlighted the joint activity of the two countries in the domain of defense and security and their joint contribution to global security.  "I am very glad that French defense personnel will again join the NATO battlegroup in Tapa next year to reinforce the security of our region and the whole alliance," the Estonian premier said, recalling that Estonia was one of the first countries of Europe that decided to join the French-led operation in Mali.

"Common experience in Estonia and Mali have made the defense personnel of the two countries genuine brothers-in-arms," he said.

Other topics on the table included the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and resolving the health crisis. "This definitely is one of the most complex challenges for the countries of Europe in recent history, for the addressing of which cooperation between countries is very important," Ratas said, pointing out that the health crisis caused by the pandemic will be discussed by EU heads of state and heads of government at a video conference Thursday evening.

In addition, Ratas and Macron spoke about combating climate change and the digital turnaround in the EU. "Alongside the health crisis, we must focus also on the long-term topics of significant impact that  will determine the future of Europeans. These include, among others, achieving the European Union's climate goals to ensure a vibrant living environment rich in life for the people, and also the creation of a framework for European data economy and digital identity," Ratas said.

The situation in Europe's close neighborhood, including Belarus, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, tensions in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Russia were also talked about at the meeting.

Also on Wednesday, Ratas took part in a round-table business discussion with Estonian and French businesspeople, including executives from Estonian companies Guardtime and Magnetic MRO and French companies Airbusi, Eolane, MBDA, as well as the French Ministry of Health. 

At that meeting, Ratas highlighted the potential of developing economic relations between the two countries, which definitely entail many untapped opportunities. Trade exchanges between Estonia and France have grown in recent years, it was observed at the meeting. 

Furthermore, Ratas tried out parcel release technology provided by Estonian company Cleveron at a Zara store at the La Fayette department store in Paris. 

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