Kallas: NATO must strengthen defense where it is most needed
NATO must strengthen defense where it is most needed, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said during a meeting with President of Poland Andrzej Duda.
The pair discussed the forthcoming NATO Madrid Summit, Russia's military aggression in Ukraine and opportunities to assist Ukraine, including the EU accession process and grain exportation.
The countries understand that with the changed security situation, the defense and deterrence posture of NATO urgently needs to be strengthened, it was said.
"Clear and strong decisions must be taken at the Madrid Summit in June. Considering that Russia has raised the level of aggression in Europe, NATO needs to strengthen defense where it is most needed – especially on the eastern flank of NATO," Kallas said.
The politicians also discussed efforts to stop Putin's war machine in Ukraine and how to continue to isolate Russia politically and militarily. This includes the next package of EU sanctions.
Kallas said Poland is an excellent and committed ally in NATO. She thanked Poland for its participation in the Baltic Air Policing unit and defense cooperation.
"Together with the Polish forces, the Estonian Defence Forces helped to repel the hybrid attack of Belarus at the external border of the European Union. Polish soldiers will take part in the Siil (Hedgehog) exercise of our Defence Forces that will take place soon," the prime minister said.
Kallas emphasized the crucial role of Poland in providing comprehensive assistance to Ukraine. Poland has provided military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and received more than three million war refugees. The recent donors' conference in Warsaw was also a success. In total, more than six billion euros were raised to help Ukraine.
The prime minister also called on Poland to join the Baltic Offshore Grid Initiative to build an energy network in the Baltic Sea.
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Editor: Helen Wright