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Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and Defence Minister Jüri Luik affirmed Estonia’s commitment to ensuring security to NATO Secretary General

6. September 2017 - 16:45
Foreign Minister Sven Mikser emphasised at the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that NATO and the European Union need to step up their activities in a number of areas, in particular in the fight against terrorism and cybersecurity (photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and Defence Minister Jüri Luik held a joint meeting today in Tallinn with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the current security situation, EU-NATO cooperation and next year’s NATO summit. Ministers affirmed to the NATO Secretary General that Estonia is committed to ensuring security.

Both Mikser and Luik emphasised the importance of the allied presence on Estonian soil. "NATO forces on Estonian soil are a real sign of the alliance’s solidarity and readiness to defend every ally," said Luik. "Strong deterrence ensures peace and stability in our region," he said.

Foreign Minister Mikser said that given the current situation it is important to act in concert at the international level. "Cooperation between the EU and NATO is more important than ever before," he said. "We have to make our activities more effective in several fields, above all the fight against terrorism and ensuring cybersecurity." Minister Mikser added that countering hybrid threats is one of Estonia's priorities during its Presidency of the Council of the EU as well.

At the meeting, the officials stated that the changing security situation requires preparedness on the part of governments to increase defence spending. "If necessary, we have to be prepared to increase the joint funding of NATO to be able to ensure NATO's capability to fulfil all of its functions," said the ministers. Stoltenberg credited Estonia for maintaining defence spending at 2% of GDP.

The meeting also covered the 2018 NATO summit. In addition, the topic of NATO-Russia relations, including the impact of the Zapad exercise on the relations between allies and Russia, was also addressed.