Jüri Luik met yesterday, in Washington, D.C. with United States Secretary of Defence Mark Esper. The Ministers discussed the security of the Baltic region, the US-led training exercise Defender-Europe 2020, set to take place this spring, the importance of Headquarters Multinational Division North, cyber cooperation and the situation in Afghanistan.
Minister of Defence Luik thanked his colleague for the consistent contribution of the United States to the security of Estonia and our region, and for taking the lead role in developing NATO readiness.
Both agreed that the main threat to NATO’s security continues to come from the direction of Russia, which enjoys a significant advantage in terms of time and distance when it comes to the movement of its forces near the Baltic region. ‘Therefore, as allies, we must continuously practice the joint operation of our forces during crisis and wartime situations, to ensure that we are able to act as quickly and effectively as possible in a crisis situation', stated Minster of Defence Luik.
Luik and Esper also emphasised the importance of the US-led training exercise Defender-Europe 2020. Luik highlighted the fact that the regional command structure, along with the receiving of allied forces on the ground, in the air and at sea, will be put to the test during the training exercise. ‘Secretary of Defense Esper and I also talked about the importance of discussing the lessons that were learned, once the large-scale exercise is over, to further develop cooperation between our forces’, stated Luik.
The meeting also included a discussion of 5G topics, with both ministers acknowledging the need to raise awareness of the dangers posed by 5G.
At the meeting, Minister of Defence Luik expressed support for finding a political solution for the Afghan peace process. Luik emphasised that the principle of 'we go together, we leave together’, as agreed upon by the allies, is important to Estonia.
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