On 17 and 18 November, Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur participated at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, where he appeared as a speaker on two panel discussions and, together with Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Martin Herem, met on the sidelines with Minister of National Defence of Canada Bill Blair and the Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre. Minister of Defence Pevkur also met with the Minister of Defence of Kosovo Ejup Maqedonc, and Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Kateryna Chernohorenko.
“Canada’s contribution to the security of the Baltic region is strong and important. Like the United Kingdom in Estonia, Canada is a framework country for the NATO Battle Group in Latvia, and is working towards strengthening its presence. Estonia enjoys good cooperation with Canada on regional defence issues, but also, for example, on the development of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). In addition, we are united in our views on aid to Ukraine – different crises cannot overshadow Russia’s barbaric war crimes and take away our focus, attention and effort in supporting Ukraine,” said Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.
With the Minister of Defence of Kosovo, minister Pevkur discussed ways to ensure stability in the Western Balkans region. With the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister, minister Pevkur discussed Ukraine’s needs and Estonia’s continued support in addressing them, including through the IT coalition led by Estonia and Luxembourg.
The first of the panel discussions in which Minister of Defence Pevkur participated addressed the global leadership role of the US, while the second focused on the importance of innovation in helping Ukraine win and strengthening NATO.
“Russia’s goal of defeating Ukraine remains unchanged. However, Ukraine’s victory will play a crucial role in shaping the Euro-Atlantic security environment for decades to come, which is why we must continue our full and steadfast support to Ukraine to the greatest extent possible. Ukraine’s supporters have political, economic and military power in their hands that far exceeds that, which is available to Russia – if we use it correctly, we can defeat the aggressor,” said Minister of Defence Pevkur.
In his messages, the Minister of Defence also stressed the need to invest in NATO’s defence in terms of troops, military capabilities, stocks and defence industrial capabilities. “Should the need arise, we will have to begin defending the alliance whether we are ready or not – in the latter case, however, we will have to pay a much higher price on the battlefield. This risk is mitigated by well-equipped, implementable and tested defence plans and a high level of defence readiness, which in turn can only be ensured through increased defence investments across the Alliance. Estonia is setting a very good example,” said Pevkur.
In addition, the Minister of Defence met with think tanks and business representatives.
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