Baltic and Polish defense ministers meet in Tallinn
Defence minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa) met his Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish counterparts in Tallinn on Tuesday, to discuss security and defense issues related to Baltic region.
"I am pleased that our colleague from Poland was also able to participate our meeting as well," Luik said of the meeting, which brought together Artis Pabriks (Latvia), Raimundas Karoblis (Lithuania) and Mariusz Blaszczak (Poland) in the Estonian capital.
"Estonia enjoys very constructive defense cooperation with Poland, and several recent developments, with its help, have brought additional capabilities for defence and deterrence of the Baltic region," Luik added.
"Specifically, I am referring to the cooperation agreement concluded between Poland and the U.S., where the U.S. will be increasing its presence in Poland to 5,500 troops," Luik said, noting that the Polish Air Force will be taking on NATO Baltic air policing duties from January 2020, based for the first time in Ämari Air Base, west of Tallinn.
The Polish Air Force has already completed seven rotations in Siauliai, Lithuania.
The defense ministers also discussed the outcomes of the NATO Leaders' Meeting which took place last week in London.
"The common position was that the Leaders' Meeting had a positive outcome for all the Baltic countries as well as for Poland; the discussion of the Baltic defense plan met with a positive result, and we are pleased that we can move forward," Luik added.
The defense ministers also discussed Baltic region air defense issues, the upcoming U.S.-led Exercise Defender major allied exercise in the region in 2020, and planned defense discussions in the EU.
The three Baltic defense ministers are also set to sign a joint communiqué on defense cooperation on Tuesday, it is reported.
As reported on ERR News, the U.S. recently announced that it has earmarked 50 million U.S. dollars (approximately €44,801,00) for the development of the Baltic region's air defense.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte