Sanna Marin holds first talks with new Estonian prime minister

New Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas describes Finland as "not just a neigbour but a dear relative."

Estonian government of Kaja Kallas sworn in by President Kersti Kaljulaid, Tallinn, 26th January 2021 / Credit: Estonian Government

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has held her first video call with the new Estonian PM Kaja Kallas who took office on Tuesday.

The pair spoke on Tuesday evening after Marin sent a letter of congratulations following the swearing-in ceremony which took place in Tallinn.

On the agenda was “bilateral relations, EU affairs and health security measures needed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in Finland Estonia” according to a statement from the PM’s office.

Finland’s tightening border restrictions to slow the spread of a new coronavirus variant mean new restrictions on workers coming from Estonia to Finland.

“Finland is not just a neigbour but a dear relative for us” says Kallas. “We have a lot of work to do to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, to achieve recovery and climate neutrality, to strengthen democracy, digital transformation and development in Europe.”

Kaja Kallas was invited to form the new Estonian government by President Kersti Kaljulaid after the previous government of Jüri Ratas, which featured the far-right EKRE party – collapsed amid a corruption scandal.

EKRE ministers had caused international embarrassment for the Ratas government after a series of ill-judged comments, although Ratas needed their support to stay in power.

Both Estonia’s president and prime minister are women, and with Kaja Kallas taking up her job it now means six out of eight Nordic and Baltic countries have female heads of government: Finland, Estonia, Norway, Lithuania, Denmark and Iceland.

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