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Jüri Luik: the importance of defence related questions is growing in Europe
The Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) is taking place today in Tallinn. The main topic of this year’s conference is the common security and defence policy of the European Union.
The title of the twelfth Annual Baltic Conference on Defence is European Defence Cooperation: Out of the Shadows? and focuses on the question of whether the European Union is capable of reacting to today’s security threats and is ready to assume a more serious role in defence questions.
This year’s ABCD conference is connected to Estonia's presidency of the Council of the European Union, and also focuses on topics which will be the subject of discussion at tomorrow’s unofficial meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Tallinn.
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, during Estonia’s presidency we will see actual results from meaningful discussions on defence cooperation.
‘This is an interesting and momentous time in European defence. There is a growing understanding of the need to deal with security in the European Union, and the topic of defence has begun to be taken seriously,’ said Luik.
The conference will be opened with a keynote speech by Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia.
In their presentations, the nearly 20 speakers appearing at the conference will discuss the nature of the vision of Europe’s defence and the resources and capabilities necessary for the implementation of that vision.
This year’s presenters include Minister of Defence Jüri Luik; Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency; General Mikhail Kostarakos, Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, and many others.
The horizon for Estonia’s national defence planning is very long-term; more precisely, we are planning our activities for the next decade. At the same time, we are, of course, taking into consideration new information received, including everything we learned from Zapad, the large-scale Russian military exercise held last year.
Minister of Defence Jüri Luik met today with the Swedish Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist, and General Micael Byden, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces. The defence ministers discussed the security situation that has developed in the Baltic Sea region, the start of the Zapad training exercise, and the topic of Aurora.