Yesterday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas met with Edward Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives, to discuss the security situation in Europe, the essential issues of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and Estonian business and trade relations with the United States.
Prime Minister Ratas thanked the US for their significant contribution to the security of the Baltic region and confirmed that the Estonian government would continue to maintain defence spending at a level of at least 2% of the GDP. "For us, it is important that, if we assume support from our allies, we will also contribute to and fulfil the goals set together," said Ratas.
Speaking about the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Prime Minister emphasized that a safe and secure Europe is one of the essential issues of the Estonian Presidency and added that during the Estonian Presidency, Estonia wants to enhance the strong relationship between the European Union and the United States. "In addition, one of our clear objectives is to improve the links between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries. A secure and stable neighbourhood is definitely beneficial for the whole of Europe, and this is where Estonia and the United States have a good opportunity to work together," said Ratas.
The meeting also discussed the enhancement of Estonian-US trade relations and cooperation in the area of cybersecurity. In addition, Prime Minister Ratas presented Estonia's e-government services. "Estonians are accustomed to using various e-services and have confidence in the e-state that we have created. In order to maintain that confidence, the digital environment must be secure and, therefore, the Estonian state has contributed strongly to cybersecurity in order to continuously anticipate possible threats. There is definitely potential for closer cooperation in this area," added the Prime Minister.