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President Kaljulaid emphasised the importance of maintaining the unity of Europe at her meeting with her Italian counterpart

President Kaljulaid emphasised the importance of maintaining the unity of Europe at her meeting with her Italian counterpart © Vabariigi Presidendi Kantselei

04.07.2018

President Kersti Kaljulaid met today in Kadriorg with the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, who is on a state visit to Estonia. The meeting focused on the migration crisis and security issues, which are currently the main challenges faced by the European Union and NATO; these can only be met when the states maintain their unity.

"The benefits provided by the European Union are common for everyone as are the main challenges that need to be met together with pooled strength. The urgency of problems in the southern and northern regions of Europe can occasionally be different; nevertheless, these can only be solved by countries working together. Just like the migration crisis is not only a problem for Italy, the security issues of NATO's eastern wing must not be treated as an issue for our region alone, but rather common challenges for Europe and the pan-Atlantic network in general," said President Kaljulaid after her meeting with her Italian counterpart.

The Estonian Head of State also thanked her Italian counterpart for Italy's contribution to the Baltic air security mission and participation in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. The Head of State also emphasised the role of Estonia in solving the problems faced in Southern Europe and stated that all of Estonia's current foreign missions are aimed towards the south. "Estonia is contributing to handling the migration crisis according to our current agreements; our defence force members are deployed in the European Union navy mission on the Mediterranean Sea," said President Kaljulaid.

In discussing Russia, the President of the Republic stressed that a uniform and steady European Union is the best message against the hostile behaviour pattern demonstrated by Russia. "I don't see any reason to change the resolutions that were adopted in Warsaw and Wales, and the common policy of sanctions needs to be exercised until Russia begins to change its behaviour and fulfil international duties," said President Kaljulaid, as she thanked Italy for its decision to extend the sanctions imposed on Russia for another six months.

The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, arrived today in Estonia for a two-day state visit. The last visit at such a level was made by an Italian Head of State to Estonia back in 2004.