Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday concluded his 5-day tour to the three Baltic nations Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The visit was aimed at strengthening the bilateral engagements with the three nations, besides giving the relationships a fresh impetus in the context of a changing global order.
Besides considering the strategic interests, the focus of the visit was also on improving cooperation in the fields of security, especially countering terrorism.
The Vice President’s visit was also especially proved significant in improving cultural exchanges
The Vice President’s first stop during his three-nation tour to the Baltic region was Lithuania.He held consultations with the country’s top leadership on important aspects of the bilateral relationship as well as global and regional issues of mutual interest.
The Vice President also underscored the huge scope for expansion of commercial and economic relations between India and Lithuania.
After Lithuania, Vice-President Naidu visited Latvia, where he had some equally important interactions including meetings with the Lithuanian Prime Minister and the speaker of the Parliament. Vice President also held wide-ranging talks with Latvian President Egils Levits on matters of mutual interest.
On the last leg of his visit, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited in Estonia, where he held talks with Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia. In a joint statement after discussion, both leaders reiterated their resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Both leaders reviewed bilateral relations and potential areas of cooperation between both nations. Vice President Naidu also called on Juri Ratas the Prime Minister of Estonia and Henn Polluaas, President of the Estonian Parliament
Addressing Heads of Estonian Diplomatic Missions in capital Tallinn, Vice President Naidu said the restructuring of Jammu and Kashmir was the internal affair of India.
At the India Estonia Business Forum, Vice President Naidu pitched for investments in India calling it an attractive destination for international trade and business. He invited the Estonian government to participate actively in the forthcoming India-Europe 29 Business Forum to be held in November this year.
The political engagement between the region and India dates to the 1920s at the League of Nations.
India first recognised the Baltic states in 1921, during the brief period of independence they enjoyed in the interwar period.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania regained their independence, India established diplomatic relations with them by 1992.
For over a decade, however, their engagement was limited, with very few bilateral visits and no diplomatic representation but the past four years have witnessed an increase in the frequency of high-level contact between India and the Baltic states.