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Estonian and German Governments: the Presence of the European Union in Georgia Must Be Expanded

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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, with whom the main topic under discussion was the current situation in Georgia. The heads of the Estonian and German governments condemned the military aggression of Russia against the sovereign country. When speaking about the influence of the decisions and behaviour of Russia on relations with the European Union, both parties stressed that the European Union must be uniform in addressing Russia.

Andrus Ansip and Angela Merkel were of the same opinion, in that the Russian forces must withdraw from Georgia and that Russia must adhere to the six-point peace plan. Together, it was found that, in light of the present situation, on site international observation missions must be intensified.

Prime Minister Ansip stressed that the crisis in Georgia must be a turning point not for the withdrawal of Georgia, but for faster integration both with the European Union and NATO. “Estonia has consistently stressed the need to develop the European Neighbourhood Policy,” said Ansip, and emphasised that the need to increase the activity of the European Union in the current crisis area is obvious. During the meeting, the Prime Minister also made specific proposals with regard to political measures, such as the faster introduction of the visa simplification procedure between the European Union and Georgia and entry into a more in-depth free trade Agreement.

The discussion of the situation in Georgia will continue next Monday in Brussels, at the meeting of the European Council called under extraordinary circumstances.

When speaking about bilateral relations, the Prime Minister noted that Germany has done a great job regarding the rejoining of Estonia with Europe and supported Estonia during the moments when Estonia really needed international support. “Such partners who stand for stable and democratic values are very important for a small country,” said Ansip.

The Prime Minister thanked Germany for defending the air space of the Baltic States in the framework of the NATO air defence mission, organised this year from July to September.

The topic of energy was also briefly touched upon. The Prime Minister noted that for Estonia, it is very important that the local electricity sector be included among industries in the threat of carbon leakage in the European Union. “For Estonia, it is an issue of preserving the national independence of oil shale energy and electricity production,” said the Prime Minister. The heads of the governments discussed the energy issues in more detail at the official lunch that followed the meeting.

Recording of the extraordinary press conference of the heads of the Estonian and German governments: