Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is set to make her first overseas visits next week, and as is traditional for Finnish leaders she will make neighbours Sweden and Estonia her first ports of call.
On Wednesday 8th January Marin will travel to the Swedish prime minister’s official country residence in Harpsund, west of Stockholm, to meet Stefan Löfven.
On Friday 10th, Marin will be in Tallinn for a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, and pay a courtesy call on Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
On the agenda for talks with both PMs will be Baltic Sea regional issues, for example in the area of environmental protection. They’ll also discuss European security and other current international and EU topics like climate goals, budgets and enlargement.
Estonia has just started a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council so multilateral issues will be on the agenda for Tallinn meetings.
In December, Estonia’s prime minister and president both extended apologies to Finland and Sanna Marin, after that country’s interior minister Mart Helme lambasted the Finnish government.
The politician told a radio programme “we see that the saleswoman has become a prime minister, while some other street activists and illiterate people have become members of the government.”
Helme is the founder of the far right ethno-nationalist Conservative People’s Party Ekre, which has close links with Finland’s Finns Party. Ekre is one of three that make up Estonia’s coalition government.