Estonia: The Prime Ministers of Estonia and Ukraine signed an agreement to facilitate bilateral co-operation

NordenBladet — Today, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas held a video meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal, during which an agreement on technical and financial cooperation between Estonia and Ukraine was signed. This ensures tax exemption for Estonian-Ukrainian technical cooperation projects in Ukraine.

“The visit of the Prime Minister of Ukraine to Estonia was to take place in November, but was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus. However, our relations still need to be developed during a pandemic,” said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. “Estonia conducts nearly 40 cooperation projects with Ukraine a year, the main focus of which is on strengthening democracy, including through the development of e-government, supporting the business environment, and raising the quality of education. In connection with the spread of the coronavirus, we are also paying more attention to the field of health care.”

In the first project, we will start managing border queues at two Ukrainian border checkpoints. This provides an opportunity to apply Estonia’s experience in Ukraine in dealing with similar problems and promotes both cross-border movement and trade.

The leaders of the Estonian and Ukrainian governments discussed bilateral relations and common challenges in the fight against the coronavirus. During the pandemic, Estonia has helped Ukraine with masks, disinfectants, blankets, and other items that help protect people from the virus and speed up the recovery of the sick. Both countries are trying to strike a balance between health care and economic needs and are preparing for the moment when it will be possible to start vaccinating the population, especially those at risk. The European Union has pledged 500 million euros to support the international risk mitigation mechanism COVAX, which helps ensure access to vaccines in low- and middle-income countries, including Ukraine.

Ratas assured Shmyhal that Estonia strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “As an elected member of the UN Security Council, we keep the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea under constant attention of the international community.” According to Ratas, Estonia is always ready to share its experiences with Ukraine, which will help Ukraine move forward with reforms and support the country’s aspirations towards the European Union.

On international issues, the prime ministers discussed the Three Seas Initiative and the transition to renewable energy.

 

 



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