Czech Minister Lipavský hosts Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna in Prague

© MZV ČR / MFA CZ / Apr 2, 2024
From left: Foreign ministers of Estonia, Margus Tsahkna, and the Czech FRepublic, Jan Lipavský in Prague.

On Tuesday, 2 April 2024, the Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic and Estonia met in Prague to discuss bilateral relations within the European Union and the security situation on NATO’s eastern flank. Jan Lipavský and Margus Tsahkna also discussed further support for Ukraine and cooperation in digitalisation. The two ministers reiterated their will to deepen cooperation in European policies, defence, and security. Minister Lipavský said that relations between the Czech Republic and Estonia are based on shared values – democracy, freedom and the protection of human rights. 

“In a Europe shaken by violations of international law, Estonia plays a difficult role as a border country on the eastern flank of NATO, also with the help of Czech troops,” Minister Lipavský said.

Stop Russian cyber attacks and intimidation efforts

The foreign ministers discussed the hybrid threat posed by Russia. “Attacks by the Russian regime are unacceptable, and we must enforce all measures to prevent them,” Tsahkna said. “Estonia has made concrete proposals for ramping up measures against Russia.”

The Czech Republic” fundamentally rejects the inclusion of Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and other Baltic officials on Russia’s wanted list. The Russian sanctions against the minister are yet another example of the Kremlin’s efforts to intimidate Western politicians. But the Putin regime will never succeed in doing so,” Minister Lipavsky added.

Czech Republic’s contribution to NATO

Minister Tsahkna, who visited Prague for the first time since his inauguration and as the first Estonian foreign minister in twelve years, noted that Estonia appreciates the Czech Republic’s long-standing contribution to NATO’s common defence, which includes the Czech Air Force’s regular participation in the so-called Air Policing of the airspace of the Baltic countries on the eastern flank of the Alliance.

Noting that Estonia celebrated 20 and the Czech Republic 25 years of membership, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia said: “Thanks to NATO, we have a safe country and region to live in.”

Extensive support to Ukraine

Both ministers said that Ukraine needs to continue to be extensively assisted and tirelessly supported in its fight against the Russian aggressor. The two countries have been working with maximum commitment since the beginning of the aggression. The latest example is the Czech involvement in the initiative to purchase ammunition for Kyiv in third countries.

Tsahkna emphasised that the two countries have a shared view on supporting Ukraine. 

“Ukraine needs our help in terms of both military aid and its journey to NATO,” Tsahkna noted. He also outlined Estonia’s plan for and progress using frozen Russian assets.

Bilateral defence and security cooperation

The ministers also discussed potential sectors where the two countries could collaborate and agreed to continue Czech-Estonian expert consultations on foreign and security policy, cyber security, and digitalisation. The Baltic countries are among the world leaders in this field.

Minister Tsahkna said Estonia is ready to support the Czech Republic “with their digitalisation drive and in the cyber domain because Estonia has the necessary experience and know-how, and public sector cooperation would benefit both sides.” 

Tsahkna also briefed his colleague on Estonian companies that have shown an interest in reaching the Czech market in this area. 

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