Vice President Joe Biden met with Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas in the White House on December 10, 2014. Photo by U.S. Embassy Tallinn
Washington, D.C. 10 December – Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, who is on a visit to the United States, discussed the security situation in the European region and the presence of U.S. troops in Estonia with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the White House today.
At the beginning of the meeting, Biden thanked Estonia for good allied relations and recognised the Estonian people for their dedication to security and for allocating two percent of GDP to national defence. Estonia sets an example for many other NATO allies, Biden said.
Prime Minister Rõivas emphasised that the long-term presence of U.S. troops in Estonia is extremely necessary as a sign of NATO strength and U.S. dedication. “The Estonian government has made a fundamental decision to keep defence spending at the agreed upon level, and with the additional costs for hosting allied troops, this means that next year defence spending will total more than two percent of GDP,” he said.
The Prime Minister assured the Vice President Biden that Estonia is taking steps to increase its energy independence. Biden praised Estonia and Finland for its productive cooperation related to increasing energy independence in Europe.
Next week’s meeting of the European Council and the topics on the agenda were also discussed. Biden confirmed that the U.S. is ready to institute additional sanctions. Rõivas expressed support for this. Both Biden and Rõivas confirmed that the U.S. and the European Union will continue to support Ukraine both politically and financially.
Speaking about the economic relations between the U.S. and Estonia, Biden praised Estonia’s IT development and thanked Estonia for Skype, which he uses every day to communicate with his family.
After the meeting with Biden, Rõivas headed to the Capitol to meet with John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Following that Rõivas gave a speech at the Atlantic Council think tank.
The Prime Minister is visiting the U.S. with a business delegation to develop economic and security-related cooperation between the countries. He will arrive back in Estonia on the evening of December 14th.
More information: Tiina Ansip
Government Communication Unit