Roivas calls for combining strengths of Estonia, Germany to make up Europe's engine

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Estonia's IT ingenuity and Germany's industrial might must be transformed into an engine that will give a new impetus to the economy of all of Europe, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said at a meeting with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.

«What people wait from European leaders is focusing on our real problems. Military conflicts in the close proximity of the EU, terrorism, slowdown of the economy, growing unemployment in many places and migration are causing concern in people all over Europe,» Roivas said. «At a time when Europe is plagued by crises and standing face to face with critical choices it is in my view namely Europe with the face of Germany that we need more of, and let me assure you that Estonia supports Germany in finding solutions to our common concerns together,» he said.

Roivas described combining Estonia's IT ingenuity and the industrial prowess or Germany as one possible solution to several problems.

«I hope that concrete cooperation between Estonia and Germany will arise shortly from my visit to Meseberg in the spring and Chancellor Merkel's visit to Tallinn today,» Roivas said. «Estonia's IT businesses and experts are very interested in working together with Germans to find new solutions invigorating the economy and making life simpler for our people,» he said.

In addition to the EU summit to be held in Bratislava in September and topics of European future, security was one of the main topics of Wednesday's meeting.

«Germany's commitment to our region and presence here are fundamental to us. The security of Germany and of Europe also start here,» the prime minister said.

Roivas emphasized that Europe must not forget Ukraine and must maintain a united position when it comes to the sanctions on Russia.

«Military escalation in eastern Ukraine and the provocation in Crimea demonstrate that unfortunately Russia is not ready to solve the conflict in a peaceful manner. As long as Russia does not fulfill the Minsk agreements, we cannot speak of easing the sanctions,» Roivas said.

Roivas also underscored the importance of the relations that Estonia and Germany have been having for almost a quarter of a century, which are difficult to measure in words.

«Our understanding of the future of Europe, the need to strengthen security on the eastern flank of NATO and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are very similar,» the prime minister said.