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Estonian Foreign Minister Paet and Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski Sign Estonia-Poland Visa Representation Agreement

20.01.2010

Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and his Polish colleague Radosław Sikorski signed an Estonia-Poland visa representation agreement together in Warsaw.

In accordance with the visa representation agreement, Poland will begin representing Estonia in North Korea, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia, and Columbia. Estonia will begin to represent Poland in Pskov. “Visa representation agreements help countries in the Schengen area be represented as widely as possible all over the world. Estonia’s network of foreign representations is limited, and co-operation like this makes it possible for somebody to get an Estonia visa even in a country where we don’t have our own embassy,” Paet explained.

Paet introduced Estonia’s steps towards joining the euro and balancing the state budget to Sikorski and Deputy Speaker of the Polish Seim Jerzy Smajdzinski. His Polish colleagues recognised Estonia’s successful activities for meeting the criteria to join the euros. Paet also told Sikorski about Estonia’s candidacy to be the location for the European Union’s IT agency for justice and home affairs and called on Poland to support Estonia’s candidacy. In speaking about the development of Estonia-Poland bilateral relations, Paet emphasised the importance of the Tallinn-Warsaw flight route that will soon be opened.

The Estonian foreign minister thanked the Polish foreign minister for Poland’s participation for the third time in the rotation of Baltic airspace policing that will begin in May. “Poland also does commendable co-operation with Estonia at the Baltic Defence College, and our views on NATO’s new strategic concept are in agreement,” Paet added. Paet stated that Poland joining the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn is also important.

At his meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, Paet emphasised Estonia’s support for commemorating victims of the Holocaust. “Estonia has condemned all crimes against humanity, including the Holocaust. These horrors must never occur again,” he stressed. Paet informed Sikorski that Estonia responded to Poland’s request and made a donation of 20 000 euros to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Fund.

During Paet and Sikorski’s meeting, they also discussed adding substance to the Eastern Partnership Programme more quickly. “We must work together in the name of making the European Union progressively more open to Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and the other Eastern Partnership nations,” stated Paet. “Estonia is prepared to establish an Eastern Partnership training centre.”

Paet said that in order to increase energy security, it is important to connect the electricity networks of the Baltic states with those of Poland, in order to put and end to the situation in which the Baltic states, due to limited energy connections, live on an isolated “energy island”.

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