Estonian, Polish defense ministers discuss impact of coronavirus on defense ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) in a video meeting with his Polish colleague. May 19, 2020.
Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) in a video meeting with his Polish colleague. May 19, 2020. Source: Ministry of Defense/Flickr

Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) met with Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak via video call on Tuesday, where the two colleagues discussed the impacts of the novel coronavirus crisis on the field of defense as well as topics of the meeting of NATO ministers scheduled to take place next month.

Both ministers stressed that despite the spread of the virus, security threats have not changed, due to which it is necessary to ensure the strength of NATO's deterrence posture and continue working on increasing the readiness of NATO troops, according to a ministry press release.

"The spread of the virus has not changed our geopolitical location or security threats, and thus no concessions can be made in defense expenditures, which only began to rise in Europe in recent years, and maintaining them in terms of absolute value is important," Luik said, noting that it is important for defense investments made by NATO member states to not decrease as a result of the crisis.

The ministers also discussed defense cooperation between Estonia and Poland.

"Poland is an important ally for Estonia, who shares a common security picture with us and actively contributes to NATO's deterrence and defense capability," Luik said, thanking Poland for its contributions to the alliance's Baltic Air Policing mission.

Polish F-16 fighter jets served on the mission out of Ämari Air Base for the first time from January through April; several Polish Air Force contingents have previously served out of Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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