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The President of the Republic met the Prime Minister of Sweden

President Arnold Rüütel this evening at Kadriorg met with Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson.

The Estonian Head of State thanked the Kingdom of Sweden for the assistance given to the Republic of Estonia and assured that Estonia wanted to continue cooperation with Sweden also after its likely accession to the European Union. The Prime Minister of Sweden assured that the objective of their assistance had been to build a functioning partnership, and added that they had great expectations concerning the cooperation in the Baltic Sea region that could turn into the most dynamic region in the European Union and a power to be reckoned with.

The President of the Republic spoke highly of the balanced regional development in the Nordic Countries and voiced hope that Estonia and Sweden could work together in this area as well. According to President Rüütel, this kind of cooperation could be particularly fruitful in the field of integrating infrastructure. Prime Minister Persson agreed with him and added that, in his view too, regional development and appreciation of rural areas were very important.

The Swedish Prime Minister asked if the Estonian EU information campaign had been successful and what were the public sentiments before the referendum. They also touched upon the Swedish referendum on whether to adopt the single European currency, the euro, due to take place on the same day. According to Göran Persson, Sweden would feel very embarrassed if Estonia introduced the euro before them.

Concluding their meeting, President Rüütel and the Prime Minister Persson expressed conviction that the accession of the Baltic States to the European Union would contribute to the development of stability and democracy in the region.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 29, 2003

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