eesti keeles

Press Releases
Open in print mode

The President of the Republic met with the leaders of Latvia

President Arnold Rüütel, during his state visit, met with the President of Latvia Vaira Vike-FreibergaPresident Arnold Rüütel, on Wednesday, during his state visit, met with the President of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Speaker of the Saeima Ingrida Udre and Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, opened an Estonian-Latvian business forum, and met with the Estonian community in Latvia.

At the meeting of the presidents in the Riga Castle, which followed the official arrival ceremony, primarily issues related to the European Union - Neighbourhood Policy, financial perspective and regional cooperation were discussed. Relations with Russia, and cooperation within NATO framework were also treated. The presidents gave a joint press conference, and after that laid a wreath at the Monument of Liberty.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, Aigars Kalvitis and Mrs. Kristine Kalvitis hosted a lunch in honour of President Rüütel and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel in the Riga Latvian Society House. The Head of Estonian State met also with Speaker of the Latvian Saeima Ingrida Udre, with whom he discussed primarily the future of the Baltic Assembly.

In the building of Hansabanka headquarters in Riga, a Latvian-Estonian Business Forum was held, which was opened by the presidents of Estonia and Latvia, and the head of Hansabanka Ingrida Bluma. In his opening address, President Rüütel said that the trade between Estonia and Latvia is active and Latvia is a significant target country for Estonia's direct investments, and that over a thousand enterprises with Estonian participation are registered in Latvia.

"Our being similar is an advantage that can help us to attract the attention of bigger foreign investors also from more distant countries. One of such joint initiatives could be inviting US investors to come here in spring 2006. I certainly attach importance to the creation of regional enterprise clusters. At the recent Baltic Development Forum in Stockholm, the idea of using the diversity of economies in the Baltic Sea region as a development engine was widely discussed. The fact that major Finnish and Swedish companies and their subsidiaries have expanded their activities all over the region indicates our capability to do this," the President of the Republic said.

President Rüütel visited also the Occupation Museum in Riga and viewed the permanent exhibition of the museum. After that a warm meeting with the Latvian Estonian Society took place.

Wednesday night, President of the Republic of Latvia Vaira Vike- Freiberga and Mr. Imants Freibergs hosted a state dinner in honour of the President of the Republic and Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel in the House of Blackheads in Riga. In his speech held at the dinner, President Rüütel said that the political dialogue between Estonia and Latvia has never been as intensive as it is at present. "This is because of our good bilateral relations, but also because of ever deepening European integration. Also the understanding that our security and well-being does not start just at our state borders, but much further away," the Head of Estonian State said.

"Small states react to whatever changes much faster than their bigger partners, as being small makes one more flexible and responsive. In the future we should better use that advantage, but also the strong ties between us in handling many cases of global issues, we should act as a political climate barometer in order to protect our and our partners' interests," the President of the Republic added.

Talking about the goals that Estonia and Latvia have to achieve, President Vike-Freiberga said that while aspiring to achieve them we should not forget the principles underlying the foundation of the European Union - solidarity, justice, pluralism, non-discrimination and gender equality. "Only if we manage to achieve in the enlarged Europe a real feeling of unity and solidarity, are we capable to fulfil important tasks for the development of the European Union like the Lisbon Strategy, financial perspective, the EU Neighbourhood Policy, and control over the EU external borders. Only a united Europe can enhance the influence of the European Union on international politics, realize its ambitions in world economy and facilitate European competitiveness in the global economy," the Head of Latvian state said.

Mrs. Ingrid Rüütel, within the framework of her special program visited the Institute of Literature, Folklore and Arts of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and the Archives of Latvian Folklore, but also the Latvian Folk Costumes Centre "Sena Klets", and met with the community of Livs.

Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps met with her Latvian counterpart Ina Druviete. Before the opening of the Business Forum, the Estonian business delegation visited Jurmala where they met with Mayor of Jurmala Inese Aizstrauta and got information about promising investment possibilities.

On Thursday, President Rüütel will make a speech in the Latvian Saeima, will meet with Mayor of Riga Aivars Aksenoks, and will visit the enterprise SIA TMB Elements.

After that, the Head of Estonian State will visit Jelgava where he will meet with Mayor Andris Ravinš, and will lay a wreath at the monument to the first President of the Republic of Latvia, Janis Čakste, and will visit the enterprise Latvijas Keramika A, as well as the Latvian Agricultural University where President Rüütel will be awarded an Honorary Doctor's degree. In the evening, the Estonian presidential couple will open a Seto exhibition in the building of Riga City Government, and will attend a reception hosted by the Estonian Ambassador Toomas Lukk.

On Friday, the President of the Republic will visit the Riga Estonian School and then return to Estonia.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, December 8, 2005

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l