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Estonia joins European Intervention Initiative

26. June 2018 - 13:49

Minister of Defence Jüri Luik participated in the meeting of European ministers of defence and foreign affairs, in Luxembourg, where he signed a letter of intent for the European Intervention Initiative proposed by France.

Yesterday, in Luxembourg, defence ministers from nine countries signed the letter of intent for the European Intervention Initiative. At the initiative of President Macron, France called on other countries that think in a similar way, and which possess the military capabilities and determination needed, to participate in combating dangers threatening Europe.

‘The goal of the initiative is to engage in greater cooperation in terms of monitoring risks that could potentially threaten European security and to together develop the capability to quickly react to crises,' said Minister of Defence Luik. He added that it is important to monitor security threats in the south as well as the east.

The letter of intent was signed by Estonia, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

Jüri Luik also met bilaterally in Luxembourg with French Minister of Defence Florence Parly, in order to sign a technical cooperation agreement between the two countries. The document includes an agreement on practical cooperation between Estonian and French military forces and the logistical and technical support offered by France for Operation Barkhane, in Mali.

‘Within the framework of cooperation between Estonia and France, in Mali, and the increased presence of allied forces in Estonia, we share a similar understanding of today’s security challenges, and trust exists between our two countries,’ said Jüri Luik. ‘Operation Barkhane, in Mali, is yet another example of direct cooperation by our military personnel in a military operation and is an important contribution by Estonia towards combating dangers from the south,' added Luik. At the meeting with Parly, preparations for the NATO Summit were also discussed.

At the meeting of EU ministers of defence the rules of governance for the European Union's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project were confirmed and the terms and conditions for participating in the projects of third countries were discussed, which is especially important in light of Great Britain exiting the EU.

Following the first wave of projects after the confirmation of PESCO in March, the plan is to confirm a second wave of projects in November of this year. “Estonia, Finland and Latvia are planning to submit an autonomous land systems’ project during the second wave,’ said Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.

A declaration of intention on Cyber Rapid Response Teams and Mutual Assistance in Cyber Security was also signed today within the framework of PESCO. According to Jüri Luik, the rapid response teams will be tasked with providing assistance to Member States, European Union institutions and third countries that are the victims of cyber-attacks.

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