President Niinistö on working visit to Estonia: We need to feel able to respond to threats, to trust each other

President Karis welcomed President Niinistö to a working visit in Tallinn. Photo: Birgit Püve

President Karis welcomed President Niinistö to a working visit in Tallinn. Photo: Birgit Püve

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö paid a working visit to Estonia on Tuesday, 4 October 2022.

President Niinistö had bilateral talks with Estonian President Alar Karis at the Presidential Palace in Kadriorg in Tallinn. In addition to the bilateral relations between Finland and Estonia, the topics of discussion included Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy and border issues, and overall security.

“The cooperation between Finland and Estonia works well, the sister nations know each other,” President Niinistö said at a joint press conference.

According to him, the Finnish and Estonian authorities are able to work together to find solutions that secure access to electricity and other energy sources. On visa issues, it would be useful to find regulation or a common approach at EU level. This is very important already for the existence and credibility of the Schengen Agreement,” said President Niinistö.

“At the moment, comprehensive security is on everyone’s minds,” he said. Right now it is difficult see how the situation in Ukraine will be resolved. “In Finland, we have been prepared for decades. Since the end of the Cold War, hardly any European country has strengthened the ability and scale of its defence forces the way Finland has.”

However, President Niinistö stressed the importance of belief in the future. “We all feel a threat now, but we must also feel able to respond to that threat and trust ourselves and each other.”

In Tallinn President Niinistö also met Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. President Niinistö and Prime Minister Kallas discussed Russia’s offensive war in Ukraine and common ways of responding to it.

The working visit ended with a joint visit with President Karis at the military base in Tapa, where the presidents met both the Estonian Defence Forces leadership and soldiers, as well as soldiers from the Enhanced Forward Presence from Britain, Denmark and France.

President Niinistö and President Karis last met in Finland in May 2022.