Security expert: Little info known about NATO foreign ministers' meeting

Meelis Oidsalu.
Meelis Oidsalu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

It is not yet known what foreign ministers will discuss at the upcoming NATO meeting this week but it is unlikely to be triggering Article 4, security expert Meelis Oidsalu said on Tuesday.

The expert said the U.S. has not shared much information with the allies in recent months, during an interview with ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Tuesday evening.

Article 4, starting discussions about NATO security issues on the request of an allied country, will probably not be discussed as the meeting fulfills this role anyway, he said.

"The member states shall consult about the current situation and harmonize their views," Oidsalu said. Yesterday, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) called for triggering Article 4 over Russia's demands on NATO.

The foreign ministers' meeting is being held ahead of the U.S.-Russia and NATO-Russia meetings next week.

"The most important thing is to find out what will be discussed next week," Oidsalu said, adding that previous statements from Estonia's foreign and defense ministers show there is little information available.

It must also be clarified whether Estonia has any concerns.

"At the moment, some people may have the deceptive impression that in addition to enemies, we are also afraid of our friends [allies]. Such impressions and their mitigation must be dealt with in times of crisis," he said.

The meeting will take place on Friday online. NATO said Russia's military build-up on the Ukrainian border and European security will be discussed.

Last month, Russia issued a series of demands to the U.S. that NATO should roll back its presence on its Eastern flank and, including in the Baltics, and rule out Georgia or Ukraine joining the alliance in the future.

There have been concerns in recent weeks that the issue will be discussed only by larger countries and smaller allied nations, such as Estonia, will be sidelined.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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