President of Estonia Alar Karis made his first visit to Finland on Tuesday, 26 October 2021. President Niinistö met with President Karis at the Presidential Palace.
At the press conference following the discussions, President Niinistö stated that the discussions had gone very well and consequently ran overtime. “We found out that we have so much in common in a positive way, and that took time.”
In addition to bilateral relations between Finland and Estonia, the Presidents discussed topics including the coronavirus situation, Russia, security issues and the Arctic region.
“I also raised the topic of the Arctic region, which is becoming more and more important location. And it is not only the Arctic countries that are affected by this; it is also a European and global issue,” said President Niinistö, referring among other things to climate change, which he also intends to raise on his upcoming visit to Russia on Friday.
In his statement, President Karis praised the digital cooperation between Finland and Estonia and stated that it is important to further deepen the already close cooperation between the countries in many different areas. “We are too small to be alone.”
Regarding the coronavirus situation, President Niinistö emphasised the continuing need to behave cautiously and take the situation seriously. “It’s important to remember that we’re fighting COVID-19, not each other.”
With regard to cyber security, President Niinistö stated that Finnish and Estonian experts were cooperating closely and he believed that this would also benefit others.
President Karis’s visit was scheduled to take place last week, but the visit was postponed due to President Niinistö’s exposure to COVID-19.