Minister of Defence Jüri Luik met yesterday, in London, with Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, with whom he discussed the NATO Summit set for July, bilateral defence cooperation, and topics concerning the general security situation.
The Ministers of Defence agreed that a reconfirmation of transatlantic unity, along with the dedication of the Allies to attaining a spending rate of two per cent of their GDP on defence expenditures—which as a whole would increase the ability of the Alliance to deal with today’s security threats—will be important topics at the Summit in Brussels.
In addition, the Ministers were in agreement on the need to reinforce NATO’s deterrence and defence posture.
‘The positions of Estonia and Great Britain are similar, in that the reliability of the Alliance’s deterrence and defence capability depends on the readiness of forces and their speed,' said Minister of Defence Luik after the meeting. ‘Also of importance is improving and ensuring the command capability of NATO operations and the readiness of forces through training exercises,’ added Luik.
Jüri Luik thanked Williamson for Great Britain’s lead role in Enhanced Forward Protection in Estonia.
The Ministers also discussed the further strengthening of Enhanced Forward Protection. At his meeting, Jüri Luik emphasised that Enhanced Forward Protection can and will be further strengthened in all domains – land, sea, and air, as well as cyberspace.
Defence cooperation between Estonia and Great Britain, within NATO as well as in multinational communities, is close. At the beginning of June, within the framework of the NATO Resolute Support mission, Estonia's infantry platoon began serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, within the composition of the unit from Great Britain. In addition, cooperation is taking place within the multinational Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), and in the French led European Intervention Initiative (EII).
Minister Luik also met yesterday with Dr. Julian Lewis, Chair of the Commons Defence Select Committee of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and other members of the Defence Select Committee, and also spoke about the general security situation and the approaching NATO Summit at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies think-tank.
Today, defence ministers from nine countries will be on hand, in London, to sign the cooperation agreement for the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF). The agreement is being signed by Great Britain, Estonia, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee