Head of the Estonian state Jüri Jaakson went by train on his first official visit to Riga in 1925. I also arrived in the Riga central railway station by direct train from Tallinn. The voyage between two capitals took me five-and-a-half hours, but by a regular train it would have been three hours longer, the Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on Tuesday, June 5, during the dinner organized by the Latvian President of the State.
“A solution should be the Rail Baltic railway which would go through the Baltic states and Poland and connect Helsinki with the rest of Europe – it our most important cooperation project which has got support also from the European Commission. As we are both marine nations, we are used to look beyond the horizon, think widely and be brave and creative, responsible towards ourselves and others. The responsibility is what characterizes relationship between Estonia and Latvia which has no bilateral problems, as well as our behaviour in the recent economic crisis. Here I would like to express my appreciation to the last two Latvian governments and, of course, to the Latvian people for understanding,” Ilves told.
“Estonia is a confident supporter of Latvia on its way to the eurozone and we are ready to share our experience about what we needed to meet Maastricht criteria. We believe in Latvia, because it is important for us. We are important trade partners and investors for each other. Even more – Estonia and Latvia are bilateral economic super powers,” said the Estonian president.
“Now our officials and ministers meet more often in Brussels than in Riga or Tallinn. On the one hand it seems reasonable and right for two European Union partners. However, I suggest meeting more often in Riga and Tallinn or, why not, in Valga-Valka,” Ilves suggested.
“Let’s add here Baltic-Nordic dimension and we will see a territory in Europe where people enjoy good living conditions, and which can be an influential, successful, transparent, innovative, socially supportive and safe place. The last one, safety, means we must be smart and responsible when developing defence of our countries,” he added.