Foreign Minister visits Finland, Estonia and Lithuania

Visit by the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs to Finland, Estonia and Lithuania (31 March-1 April) – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Paris, 31 March 2022

The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs is paying a visit to Finland, Estonia and Lithuania on Thursday 31 March and Friday 1 April.

In Finland, the Minister will meet the President, Mr Sauli Niinistö, his counterpart, Mr Pekka Haavisto, and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Matti Vanhanen. They will discuss the European Union’s overall response to the war in Ukraine, particularly measures to assist Ukrainian refugees, the options for stepping up sanctions against Russia, and the diversification of the European Union’s energy supply sources. The meetings will also provide an opportunity to deepen dialogue and cooperation on defence and security between France and Finland, including in the European Union framework.

In Estonia, the Minister will hold meetings with the President, Mr Alar Karis, and his Estonian counterpart, Ms Eva-Maria Liimets, about the invasion of Ukraine, its consequences and the response of the European Union and NATO, ahead of the NATO ministerial meeting of 6 and 7 April and the EU Foreign Affairs Council of 11 April. Following these bilateral meetings, the Minister will discuss the same issues at a joint working meeting with his three counterparts from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, in the so-called B3 + France format. Finally, the Minister will hold a bilateral meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Mr Edgars Rinkēvičs, and will take part in a conference devoted to feedback on Estonia’s participation in the United Nations Security Council.

In Lithuania, the Minister will meet the President, Mr Gitanas Nausėda, and his Lithuanian counterpart, Mr Gabrielius Landsbergis. Ukraine, the regional security situation, the strengthening of NATO’s posture on the Alliance’s eastern flank and the contribution France provides to it will be on the agenda of these meetings. The discussions will also focus on priorities for developing our bilateral relations in strategic fields of the future and for sovereignty. Finally, the Minister will meet representatives of Belarusian civil society and non-governmental organizations exiled in Lithuania, to express France’s support in the face of the Belarusian regime’s unacceptable authoritarian practices./.

Published on 31/03/2022

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