According to Estonian Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, who participated in the NATO Defence Ministers´ Meeting in Brussels this week, the Alliance will continue to reinforce its deterrence and defence posture.
‘It is important for Estonia that what was agreed upon by Heads of State at the NATO Summits in Warsaw and Brussels continues to be brought to life. Above all, it means the updating of defence plans and questions of air defence,' Luik said.
‘It is also important that the defence expenditures of Member States be raised to ensure an equal sharing of the burden, as this allows progress to be made in strengthening the deterrence and defence posture, and also to develop forces and capabilities for contributing to NATO operations and missions. Estonia will continue fulfilling the agreed objectives, including the 2% criteria.’
Allies also discussed the limiting of intermediate-range missiles, i.e. activities in accordance with the INF Treaty, in the event that Russia, which has violated the Treaty, decides not to return to fulfilling its obligations. On August 2, the deadline that was set for Russia to return to fulfilling the terms and conditions of the INF Treaty will expire.
Minister of Defence Luik stated that the Allies support the decision of the United States to leave the INF Treaty, which Russia has violated.
‘The violation of the Treaty on the part of Russia has a negative impact on the security of Europe, therefore we discussed impact assessments with our Allies and possible countermeasures in the event that Russia does not return to fulfilling the Treaty,’ Luik added.
At a separate session, the Minsters of Defence from Member States also committed to Afghanistan and the future of the NATO mission Resolution Support in connection with the approaching elections in Afghanistan. Also taking part in the discussion were the Afghan Minister of Defence, ministers from partner countries and representatives from the UN and EU.
According to Minister of Defence Luik, the future role of NATO in Afghanistan is being affected by negotiations currently underway between the United States and the Taleban.
‘Estonia supports the general principle that we went on the operation together and we should leave together,’ said Luik.
Minister of Defence Luik also met with Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, to discuss operations where Estonian and French forces operate together as well as questions related French troops currently based in Estonia.
Ministers of Defence also discussed innovation and developments associated with disruptive technologies and EU-NATO cooperation in that field.
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