Minister of Defense Sven Mikser, on a visit to the United States, met with his US counterpart Chuck Hagel in the Pentagon on Tuesday to discuss closer co-operation between the two countries and the changing security situation in Europe.
Mikser thanked Secretary of Defense Hagel for US support to Estonia by increasing its presence in the Baltic Sea region, ETV reported on Tuesday.
According to Mikser, the physical presence of the US and NATO in the Baltic states is an important part of Estonia’s and NATO’s deterrence and real actions by allies have demonstrated that collective defense does work.
The ministers discussed steps towards the bolstering collective defense taken so far, and the possibility of using the Ämari air base more actively for NATO training and air policing than previously.
Hagel recognized Estonia’s contribution to NATO, including fulfilling its share of spending towards the defense organization.
Mikser will continue his visit today and attend the conference organized by the Atlantic Council think tank. The conference focuses on transatlantic relations and a broadcast can be watched on the website of the Atlantic Council.