The United Kingdom plays a key role in Estonia's ongoing defense, President Kersti Kaljulaid said at a meeting with that country's foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, Thursday. The president also noted Estonia's commitment to the battle against climate change, ahead of November's postponed UN conference on the topic, due to take place in Scotland.
Meeting at Kadriorg Thursday morning, President Kaljulaid thanked Raab on behalf of the U.K. for its sterling defensive cooperation and contribution to Estonian and Baltic security.
The NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup, based at Tapa, east of Tallinn, has been U.K.-led since its inception in early 2017, while Britain's Royal Air Force has contributed rotations to the separate NATO Baltic Air Policing mission at Ämari on more than one occasion, most recently in 2019.
The Estonian president said that her country is committed to the 2015 UN Paris Agreement on climate change, and plans to cut CO2 emissions by 70 percent within the next decade, and halt the use of shale oil – a staple of the economy in Ida-Viru County – by 2040, in pursuit of climate change goals.
Estonia's non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, where the U.K. is one of five permanent members, the global pandemic and cybersecurity were also on the table at the meeting, the president's office reports.
The U.K. is set to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. The summit had been due to take place in November 2020 but was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dominic Raab also held a press conference Thursday morning with Estonia's foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets. He travels to Oslo, Norway next.
Editor: Andrew Whyte