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Home NATIONALFinland signs deal with Estonia on rescue services
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Thu, 30 Jan, 2014 12:56:07 AM
FTimes Report, January 30
 
File Photo - Lehtikuva.
Finnish Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen and Estonian Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher on Wednesday signed a rescue services agreement between the two countries in the fields of emergency prevention, preparedness and response.
 
"Geographic proximity, long-term cooperation and knowledge of each other's systems and cultures are a good basis for successful mutual assistance between Finland and Estonia," Räsänen said.
 
File Photo of Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen. Photo - Lehtikuva.
The purpose of the agreement is to protect people, property and the environment, said a press release.
 
The deal includes provisions on the parties' competent authorities and points of contact, emergency notifications, mutual assistance and joint measures.
 
"The two countries' civil protection cooperation is not restricted to the EU - it extends across many forums involving the Baltic Sea countries, Baltic States and Nordic countries," Räsänen added.
 
The agreement does not only apply to acute rescue operations; it takes in training, exercises, exchanges of information and experts, according to the minister. It is also aimed at preventing incidents and enhancing preparedness, said the release.
 
Increased cooperation should be a particular priority in the field of accident prevention, where Estonia's determined efforts in terms of preventive work and improved fire safety in the home have driven down the number of deaths caused by fires, it added.
 
The new agreement, to be adopted by Parliament in autumn 2014, replaces the previous one signed in 1995. It will come into force in 2015.
 
The two ministers also discussed the question of increasing Eastern Mobility and the possibility of visa-free travel between the EU and Russia.
 
"Growing Eastern Mobility and the anticipated EU-Russia visa-free regime require real-time information exchange and cooperation between different authorities both nationally and at EU level" Räsänen said. 
 
 
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