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Minister of Defence Laanet: the most important task in the short term is the common defence capability development in the Baltics

9. February 2021 - 17:15
Minister of Defence Laanet: the most important task in the short term is the common defence capability development in the Baltics.
Minister of Defence Laanet: the most important task in the short term is the common defence capability development in the Baltics.

Through a video bridge, Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet discussed the priority directions of Baltic defence co-operation for the current year with his Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues, Artis Pabriks and Arvydas Anušauskas. The discussion focused on strengthening the region’s defence capabilities through common capability development, the promotion of air defence cooperation, and the presence of the United States military in Europe and the Baltic region.

The meeting of the Baltic Defence Ministers was the first official foreign meeting by Kalle Laanet as Minister of Defence of the Republic of Estonia.

‘Common defence capability developments have the potential to significantly strengthen the security of our region. This means that, together with Latvia and Lithuania, we must make efforts to strengthen the deterrence and protection of the Baltic region, and do so in a well-thought-out manner,’ said Minister of Defence Laanet. ‘The development of strategic capabilities is resource-intensive and difficult for the Baltic Republics individually; however, by working together we are capable of securing the security of the region to a significant extent,’ he added.

The defence ministers also dwelled at length on defence cooperation with the United States, which, since President Biden took office, has brought an even greater focus on allied relations to transatlantic relations. US security aid is of great value in building the independent defence capabilities of the Baltic Republics. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania need to continue close cooperation and further investment to make the best use of that aid.

‘For Estonia, the political and military presence of the US and its commitment to European security are crucial, said Minister of Defence Laanet.

In 2021, Lithuania will preside over Baltic Defence Cooperation.


Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee