The Foreign Minister went on a two-day official working visit to Estonia last week. During the visit, she met with Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna and Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur. Furthermore, the Minister visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre, where Iceland is one of the member nations, in the capital Tallinn. She then inspected the new mobile field hospital that will soon be donated to Ukraine, the hospital is financed by Iceland and developed and produced in Estonia.
Bilateral cooperation, support for Ukraine, security developments and the growing Nordic-Baltic cooperation were among key topics during the meeting of Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, with the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
"Estonia is one of our closest partners. Here, Iceland enjoys great goodwill as elsewhere in the Baltic countries because of Iceland’s support during their struggle for independence in the early nineties. This is a society that fought for its independence and has subsequently flourished. This was not done without effort, education, ambition, and competitiveness and it has resulted in a thriving innovation sector that creates great value and interesting jobs. Estonia's professional and dedicated efforts in international forums, including NATO and the United Nations, attract attention, not least because of their unwavering support for Ukraine's defence," says Þórdís Kolbrún. "In my conversation here there is a strong emphasis on the importance of fundamental values in international affairs, respect for international law, human rights and the rule of law," she adds.
During the Foreign Minister's meeting with Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur, the conflict in Ukraine, Russia's military presence, NATO defence capabilities and the preparations of the mobile field hospital for Ukraine were among the topics discussed. The Ministers also visited Tartu where the field hospital is being prepared.
"The hospital will help save lives and alleviate the suffering of those who put their lives and health on the line to defend Ukraine from Russian invaders. We are grateful to be able in this way to support Ukraine's legitimate defence struggle, but of course, it comes with sadness to think of the injustices suffered by the Ukrainian nation at the hands of Russia. We have worked on this project in excellent collaboration with Estonia and Germany, who provide vehicles to move the hospital from place to place, which is a very big contribution, for which we are grateful," says Þórdís Kolbrún. In the coming weeks, training will commence for the Ukrainian team, who will be running the hospital.
Finally, the Minister for Foreign Affairs also visited an exhibition by the Icelandic artist Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir's, Shoplifter, and had lunch with Urmas Klass, the mayor of Tartu.