From Tuesday through Thursday, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis will be in Estonia for a state visit, during which he will meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) and the Prime Minister, and visit cyber defence exercise Locked Shields as well as Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city.
The Latvian head of state will be accompanied on this visit, his last as president, by Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs, Minister of Economics Ralfs Nemiro, and MP Jānis Vucāns, according to an Office of the President press release.
On 10 April, Mr Vējonis and First Lady Iveta Vējone will meet with Ms Kaljulaid and First Gentleman Georgi-Rene Maksimovski in Kadriorg, after which the two heads of state will deliver a joint press conference. The Latvian president will then place a wreath at the base of the War of Liberty Victory Column in Freedom Square before heading to Toompea Hill to meet with the Prime Minister and President of the Riigikogu.
Mr Vējonis will also pay a visit to the Victims of Communism Memorial in Maarjamäe, visit the international cyber defence exercise Locked Shields, and meet with the local Latvian community at the Latvian Embassy. That evening, the Latvian presidential couple will attend a state dinner hosted by Ms Kaljulaid and Mr Maksimovski at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa.
A meeting will also take place on Wednesday between the Estonian and Latvian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which will be followed by the Estonian-Latvian Language Award ceremony.
On 11 April, Mr Vējonis will visit Sakret, the largest mortar factory in the Baltic states, which was founded on the basis of Latvian private capital. Once in Tartu, the Latvian and Estonian presidents and their spouses will visit Tartu Town Hall and meet with Mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform).
That afternoon, the Latvian president will deliver a public speech on the role of knowledge in the defence of liberties at the Assembly Hall of the University of Tartu. This will be followed by a commemoration of the soldiers of the Latvian Riflemen Regiment and Latvian refugees at Uus-Jaani Cemetery in Raadi.
The state visit will then conclude with a visit to the Estonian National Museum (ERM).
Presidential spouses to focus on children
During Mr Vējonis’ visit, Ms Vējone and Mr Maksimovski will on Wednesday visit the Randvere School, where children with different educational needs have been successfully integrated into the regular learning environment, as well as the Viimsi Open Air Museum and the “Children’s Republic” at the Estonian History Museum at Maarjamäe Palace.
On Thursday, Ms Vējone will visit the Rocca al Mare Vodja School in Järva County, which offers a peaceful and green environment for children who have not adjusted well to the environment offered by bigger schools.
President to bestow state decorations
Within the framework of the state visit, the Estonian president will bestow Mr Vējonis with the Collar of the Cross of Terra Mariana. She will also bestow First Lady Iveta Vējone, Latvian Ambassador to Estonia Raimonds Jansons and Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, First Class.
Ms Kaljulaid will also bestow Latvian Minister of Economics Ralfs Nemiro and director of the Office of the Latvian President Arnis Salnājs with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Second Class.
Deputy Director of the Office of the President Egita Kazeka, Chief of the State Protocol of Latvia Elita Kuzma, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the President Maija Manika and MP Jānis Vucāns, chairman of the Latvian-Estonian friendship group of the Saeima, will be presented with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Third Class.
Legal Adviser to the Latvian President Andis Jēkabsons, Press Adviser to the President Kristīne Kļaveniece, conductor Kaspars Putniņš, Director of the European Affairs Department of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alberts Sarkanis, and Director of the President’s Protocol Renārs Vilde will be decorated with the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Fourth Class.
The Order of the Cross of the Eagle, Fourth Class, will be bestowed on Valters Kalve, the head of the Latvian president’s security service, and the Order of the Cross of the Eagle, Fifth Class, on Maj. Intars Forš, the president’s adjutant.