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Foreign Minister Mikser: NATO’s deterrence activities have been robust

11. October 2018 - 17:48

Today, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. They spoke about the alliance’s next steps to strengthen its deterrence and defence posture as well as cooperation between NATO and the EU.

Mikser expressed confidence in the alliance’s ability to adapt to security threats, saying that NATO's work at strengthening its deterrence and defence posture has been robust. Next, responsibilities taken on at July’s summit in Brussels have to be carried out. Today, there is a plan on the table with approximately one hundred activities that form a road map for the alliance’s further development, including, for example, the modernisation of command structure.

“The most important areas for Estonia are the capability to strengthen the force already in place with additional troops as well as planning for unexpected crises,” Mikser said and also emphasised the importance of exercises that enhance cooperation between allies, such as the exercise soon beginning in Norway.

Mikser and Stoltenberg agreed that although the allies’ defence spending has increased for the fourth year, the current security situation continues to require for it to be increased further. Foreign Minister Mikser reaffirmed Estonia’s commitment to ensuring security and strengthening the alliance. “Estonia’s proposed defence budget for next year is 2.2 % of GDP,“ he confirmed. NATO Secretary General thanked Estonia for maintaining its defence spending at the level of 2 % as well as for hosting NATO troops.

The meeting also focused on cooperation between the EU and NATO. Foreign Minister Mikser emphasised that Estonia is set on further developing EU defence cooperation in a way that would also support NATO. “NATO is and will remain the corner stone of our security,” Mikser noted.

For Estonia, the most significant areas of EU-NATO cooperation are military mobility, cyberdefence, and preparedness to respond to hybrid threats.

Foreign Minister Mikser and Secretary General Stoltenberg also discussed relations between NATO and Russia. Mikser said that in relations with Russia, NATO should maintain the balance between deterrence and dialogue. “Future cooperation is possible only when Russia starts fulfilling its obligations under international law,” Mikser said.

Photos (NATO): https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/photos_159314.htm

Additional information:
Inga Bowden
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Director General, Communication Department
inga.bowden@mfa.ee
+372 528 1467

Sent by:
Britta Tarvis
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
Media Adviser, Communication Department
britta.tarvis@mfa.ee

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