Baltic States – CIS, Estonia, Russia

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Estonian president re visit to Russia: Neighbors must communicate

BC, Tallinn, 05.04.2019.Print version
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said in a statement on Friday that her planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin bears the purpose of relaunching communication between the two neighboring countries and added that there is no point in searching for a hidden implication from the visit, informed LETA/BNS.

The head of state said that while accusations have reverberated in public as though the circumstances of the visit have not been disclosed enough, that is not exactly the case.

According to Kaljulaid, she already had a brief conversation with Putin at the event to commemorate the end of World War I in Paris last November. The president said she told Putin that Estonia and Russia are neighbors who should talk to each other. Kaljulaid said that she had the impression that Putin agreed with that. In addition, the head of state mentioned to the Russian president that she is scheduled to come open the Estonian embassy in Moscow in spring and a meeting could also take place in the framework of that visit.

After that, Kaljulaid's visit to Russia has been thoroughly prepared for in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the more specific plans of the visit have been established over the last week. The president also affirmed that a verbal coordination for the meeting of the two heads of state has been carried out. When asked how long the meeting could be, Kaljulaid said the she does not know such details.

Kaljulaid highlighted that Russia is Estonia's neighbor with whom Estonia has not had high-level contacts from some 10 years already. The president said that there have been good reasons for that, mentioning the annexation of Crimea and the aggression in Ukraine, but added that these uncomfortable topics must also be discussed. "We talk a lot about Russia and I believe it would be rude not to talk to Russia," Kaljulaid told journalists on Friday.

She emphasized that Estonia is not going to Russia to get something, but the purpose of the visit is to go communicate. Kaljulaid affirmed that Estonia will naturally continue to support all the values that Europe holds, whether it be the fulfillment of the Minks agreements or the continuation of sanctions.

When asked, what kind of an impression Estonia will leave to the rest of the world with such a visit, Kaljulaid said that Estonia's objective is to stand for its values along with its partner states. "There is no point in searching for any kind of hidden implication from this," the president emphasized, reiterating that the purpose of the visit is to sit behind a desk and talk. "I have no reason to believe that diplomatic relations between countries mean winning or losing," Kaljulaid said, adding that she is certain that Russia will approach Estonia as an equal partner during this visit and Estonia has no reason for an inferiority complex.

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