Foreign minister: NATO eastern flank facing both new and old threats

Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (far left) and her B9 counterparts in Tallinn on Wednesday.
Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (far left) and her B9 counterparts in Tallinn on Wednesday. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

NATO faces many new and multi-faceted threats, foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) says. Liimets made her comments at a meeting of her counterparts from the alliance's eastern flank countries in Tallinn Wednesday.

Liimets said that: "The allies are facing many conventional as well as new threats, and we must be able to address them accordingly."

"NATO's next strategic concept, which is currently being developed, will provide the alliance with up-to-date strategic guidelines on several new global issues that concern the security of all allies, while its main focus will remain on the Euro-Atlantic area. Additionally, the challenges that are very important for our region traditionally concern credible deterrence, reinforcing our defense capabilities and improving collective defense," she continued, according to a foreign ministry press release.

Liimets hosted foreign ministers from the Bucharest Nine cooperation platform (B9), effectively NATO's Eastern Flank, in Tallinn on Wednesday, with the discussion focusing on Euro-Atlantic security, implementing the decisions of the recent NATO summit and preparing the alliance's next strategic concept.

The upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga in late November, and next summer's summit in Madrid, Spain, were also in focus.

The NATO strategic concept covers new challenges, including cyber and hybrid warfare, new tech, climate change and also the rise of China.

The ministers also expressed solidarity with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in the face of the migration pressure on the EU's borders fomented by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko, from mid-summer onwards.

The B9 platform was launched in 2015, and its member states are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, along with the three Baltic States.

Traditionally, the meetings also include representatives of the United States and NATO.

The foreign ministry has made Wednesday's press conference with the ministers available on its YouTube channel here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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