The Baltic Times, Aug 20, 2014
RIGA - Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has criticized a meeting between Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying it could undermine EU unity.
"I think it is better if the interaction with Russia is centralized in the EU," said Paet to Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.
He noted that it is difficult for the EU to pursue a common foreign policy, when member states hold bilateral talks with Russia and act on the basis of different information.
"The situation is better from Russia's point of view, when it speaks separately with each EU member state, and as little as possible with the EU," Paet said.
The significance of the meeting of Niinisto and Putin can be evaluated only when its result is known, said the Estonian foreign minister, public broadcasting reports.
Paet knew about Niinisto and Putin's meeting in advance since the Finnish president had called the president of Estonia to inform him about it.
Paet recalled that in the spring, the EU member states agreed to freeze high-level meetings with Russia. Niinisto is not the only one who has since met with Putin. Putin visited Austria and France for the Normandy landing anniversary celebrations.
"Some state leaders are calling Putin every night," said Paet. "Unfortunately, I do not see results. What has been achieved?"
Estonia says Finland, Russia meeting could undermine EU unity