Monday, Minister of Defence of Estonia, Jüri Luik discussed NATO deterrence and defence in the Baltic Sea region and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the security environment with the Minister of Defence of Germany, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, both ministers emphasised the role of NATO.
‘Russia has not reduced its military activity along our borders in any way in connection with the spread of the virus, and therefore it is of critical importance that NATO maintains its current defence and deterrence posture and Allies would be prepared to contribute to operations and missions,' Minister of Defence Luik said. According to Luik the participation of Allies, including Germany, in the NATO Battle Group’s activities in Lithuania and in the Baltic Air Policing Mission, beginning this autumn at Ämari, is notable.
The defence ministers also discussed the measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and the possible impact of the crisis on defence budgets, with both considering it important that the Alliance’s defence expenditures be maintained.
‘Germany has supported its Allies in this crisis to a significant extent through NATO, the European Union, as well as bilaterally, and we must bear in mind that such support is, in fact, very important in terms of the future. Decisions to provide aid may be extremely unpopular at the national level during the crisis, but the Allies must support each other even in difficult times to maintain the unity and solidarity,’ Luik added.
In addition, the defence ministers covered questions related to bilateral cooperation, the European Union budget, military mobility and the future of NATO.
Estonia has a long-term defence co-operation with Germany, our troops have studied in Germany, and German units have regularly participated in the annual large-scale exercises held in Estonia and in the activities of the NATO Air Policing Mission operating from Ämari Air Base. Germany is also contributing to the NATO Force Integration Unit and the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, located in Tallinn, and has been one of the most active supporters of the Baltic Defence College, located in Tartu.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee