Latvian and Estonian foreign ministers discuss renewal of Baltic Bubble

On February 17, Estonian foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets made her first formal visit to Latvia. The Foreign Ministers discussed several issues regarding relations and cooperation. 

Eva-Maria Liimets has been in the position of Estonian Foreign Minister for less than a month. This was her first work duty visit to Rīga and  meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, in which the Ministers highlighted the importance of continuing cooperation projects and  discussed Covid-19-related problems.

In this context, Estonia has already launched a digital initiative, the creation of a 'Covid pass', which could potentially lead to the renewal of the 'Baltic travel bubble' for the vaccinated population. Right now, it is too early to talk about any possible time this could be implemented.

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs praised the bilateral relations between the countries, but said that there were several ideas to improve and 'intensify' these relations.

One of the opportunities for cooperation is for Latvia and Estonia to develop a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport with the World Health Organization, which Estonia has proposed.

“We need to exploit the digital potential of Latvia and Estonia. We have to use the fact that Covid-19 will be here for some time and we will have to live with it. It is therefore important that, at the time of the increasing number of vaccinated persons, a digital Covid-19 vaccination passport would be available, which would allow easing restrictions on contact and travel for those people who are vaccinated. We will discuss these issues with the bodies responsible in Latvia,” said Rinkēvičs.

Foreign Ministers also discussed the tension in relations with neighboring countries Belarus and Russia, coordinating positions ahead of the meeting on Monday in Brussels, which will discuss possible sanctions against Russia in the context of protest oppression and the imprisonment of Alexey Navalny.

 

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