Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

President Stubb on state visit: “Estonia has a special place in the hearts of all Finns”

President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb, accompanied by his spouse Suzanne Innes-Stubb, were on a state visit to Estonia from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 May 2024.

On Monday 27 May, President of Estonia Alar Karis and his spouse Sirje Karis greeted the President and his spouse with a ceremonial welcome at the Freedom Square in Tallinn, where the programme also includeed a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to the Estonian War of Independence.

Possible to further deepen cooperation between close partners

The Presidents held formal discussions at the Estonian President’s residence Kadriorg Palace. Topics of discussion included bilateral issues, Ukraine, as well as NATO and EU cooperation. Preparations against hybrid influence operations were also discussed.

At the joint press conference after the tête-à-tête President Stubb said that Finland and Estonia have intensified their relations since Russia’s war of aggression and Finland’s membership of NATO. “There is scope for further deepening foreign, security and defence policy cooperation between even the closest partners.”

“The underwater infrastructure of the Gulf of Finland plays an important role in our energy cooperation and other connections. It is important that we continue to work on protecting critical subsea infrastructure”, President Stubb said.

Small nations must make their voices heard

At the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, President Stubb met with Lauri Hussar, President of the Riigikogu, and gave a speech on relations between Finland and Estonia.

“Estonia has a special place in the hearts of all Finns. We have a shared identity, common roots and a similar language. At times, we have been torn apart, but we always come back together. We have a shared destiny. Today, more than ever”, the President sain in his speech.

“Small nations must make their voices heard. But, most importantly, we are now using our voice together with our allies and partners in Europe, the EU and NATO.”

On Monday, the programme also included a meeting with Prime Minister of Estonia Kaja Kallas. Topics of the meeting included cooperation opportunities between the counties, the security situation in the region, the fight against hybrid threats and preparations for the NATO summit.

The President and his spouse also met Mayor of Tallinn Jevgeni Ossinovsky and visited Tallinn Town Hall.

The day concluded with a State Dinner hosted by President Karis and Mrs Karis.

On Tuesday 28 May, President Stubb visited the Rakett69 Science Studios where he met with schoolchildren. After that, the President visited the Miinisadam Naval Base in Tallinn and took part in a discussion on critical subsea infrastructure and energy cooperation.

The second day of the visit also included a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to Estonian volunteers who fought for Finland during the Finnish Winter and Continuation Wars, and a visit to the Tallinn TV Tower.

The state visit continued in Tartu

On Tuesday afternoon, the Presidents and their spouses traveled to Tartu, where they were welcomed by Mayor Urmas Klaas.

In the evening, President Stubb and Mrs Innes-Stubb gave a a reception at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu.

On Wednesday morning 29 May, the program began with a visit to the Delta Centre of the University of Tartu, followed by a transfer to the main building of the University, where President Stubb gave a speech and talked with students.

Suzanne Innes-Stubb, the spouse of the President of the Republic of Finland, had a separate programme in addition to the joint programme of the presidential couple. On Monday, she and Mrs Karis visited the Estonian Art Museum KUMU and the Old Town of Tallinn. On Tuesday, they were introduced to the Tallinn Music and Ballet School MUBA and the Finnish School in Tallinn. In Tartu, their program included a visit to the university hospital.

During the state visit, President Stubb was accompanied by Minister of Climate and the Environment Kai Mykkänen, General Janne Jaakkola, Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, and Chair of the Finnish-Estonian parliamentary group of the Finnish Parliament, Mikko Savola.

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