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Ratas: The Three Seas Initiative opens up new opportunities for Estonia

31. October 2019 - 14:37

Washington, D.C., 31 October 2019 – Prime Minister Jüri Ratas assured yesterday at a meeting with the US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and James Risch, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, that the United States of America is and will be an irreplaceable ally and partner for Estonia, with whom the country has a strong connection and great cooperation. The Three Seas Initiative is an excellent opportunity to expand this cooperation, open up new possibilities and involve more countries. The Prime Minister also met with Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich.

“Estonia and the US are countries that share the same values and have a similar understanding of challenges the world faces,” said the Prime Minister at the meeting with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Speaking of new opportunities to strengthen the transatlantic relationship, Ratas highlighted the Three Seas Initiative, which is a format of cooperation between countries surrounding the Adriatic Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea, with the aim of promoting financial cooperation.

“The goal of the initiative, which connects 12 European Union Member States and the United States of America, is ambitious. I am convinced that constructing new energy, transport and digital connections on the North-South Axis of Europe injects new energy into the economies of Central and Eastern European countries, and contributes to raising the competitiveness of the European Union through this,” Ratas assured.

The Prime Minister welcomed the active interest of the United States towards the initiative and the opportunities arising from it. “Estonia has decided to take the next Three Seas Initiative Summit upon themselves. Our goal is to increase the interest of participating countries and partners, and to achieve tangible results in discussions,” he asserted.

The Prime Minister and the Secretary of Commerce also spoke about transatlantic trade relations and the opportunities of Estonian companies on the US market.

Discussion topics at the meeting with James Risch, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, included issues related to Russia and security policy. Speaking of security- and defence-related cooperation, Ratas highlighted the close alliance between the two countries. “The USA’s commitment to the security of Estonia and other Baltic states, and to the development of their defence capability, has been invaluable. I confirm that Estonia takes the strengthening of independent defence capability very seriously, and we will continue to contribute at least two per cent of GDP into national defence.”

At the meeting with Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Justin Muzinich, Ratas talked about Estonia’s activities in the fight against money laundering. “We are committed to the safety of our financial sector and the security of the economic environment,” the Prime Minister assured. In addition, the future of the financial sector and the prevention of possible new risks was also discussed at the meeting.

Photos: Töövisiit Ameerika Ühendriikidesse, 27.-31.10.2019

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