Swiss and Estonian talks focus on Russian aggression

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at the townhall in Bellinzona on Saturday © Ti-press

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis and Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas have met in Bellinzona, southern Switzerland, where topics of discussion included the war in Ukraine and the use of new technologies in foreign policy.

This content was published on August 6, 2022 - 16:42

Cassis and Kallas paid tribute on Saturday to their countries’ good bilateral relations and emphasised their intention to further expand and intensify ties in future.  

The war in Ukraine was a core topic, the foreign ministry said in a statementExternal link. Both countries strongly condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and demanded the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops.

“Switzerland condemns all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. War crimes and crimes against humanity must be investigated and prosecuted by independent actors – regardless of who committed them,” said Cassis, who also holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year.

The two politicians also discussed digitalisation-related cooperation. Estonia is a pioneer in digitalisation in particular, having digitalised 99% of its public services.

Switzerland’s European policy was another topic on the table. Within the framework of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states, CHF26 million ($27 million) is earmarked for Estonia. This provides an opportunity for Estonia and Switzerland to work together in the areas of integration and biodiversity, the foreign ministry said.

“Switzerland’s second contribution to selected EU member states demonstrates the country’s commitment to actively promote stability, security and prosperity in Europe,” it said.

Kallas’s visit to Switzerland comes a year after Cassis visited Tallinn on his Baltic tour celebrating the two-fold anniversary with the Baltic states: the centenary of the recognition of their independence and the 30 years since the resumption of diplomatic relations following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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