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European Union and US must maintain 'common understanding': Estonia PM

The European Union (EU) and the new U.S. administration must maintain a common understanding when dealing with external risks, Estonia's Prime Minister told CNBC on Friday.

"What I know and understand (is) that the U.S., they said that they keep the sanctions (against Russia)… if we are talking (about) Crimea, it is very important that we have here this common understanding between European Union and U.S.," Estonia's prime minister Juri Ratas told CNBC on Friday.

President Donald Trump had previously criticized the Obama administration for sanctions imposed on Russia for its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Trump has stated he would be in favor of lifting the sanctions against Moscow if he is able to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction agreement.


Ratas dismissed any suggestion that the EU was concerned about a perceived improvement in diplomatic relations between the new U.S. administration and Russia.

"We must be strong ourselves; we must have good relations between the European Union and United States. Today we know that (U.K.) Prime Minister Theresa May (has been in) Washington, we know that a lot of leaders had phone calls (with) President Trump… and I think these are very, very good marks and very good signs," he concluded.

EU leaders met for a summit in Valletta, Malta to debate the future of the union on Friday.

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