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Kallas: There has been a significant shift in NATO's mindset

Allies at today's NATO summit in Madrid were completely united and there has been a significant shift in NATO's mindset: Russia has become the major threat to NATO and its allies, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said.

"I am glad that for the first time since the Cold War this is exactly how Russia is perceived in the new strategy just approved by NATO," Kallas said, in a statement.

Estonia considers it vital that NATO's collective defense is considerably reinforced, a statement said.

"We agreed that in response to Russia's aggression, NATO would move to a new forward defense posture that makes it possible to defend every square centimeter of NATO territory from the very first moments of an attack. To achieve this, concrete decisions were taken today on strengthening the Eastern Flank," Kallas added.

Kallas said it was crucial to begin implementing this change of direction immediately after the decision by NATO heads of state and government.

"For Estonia, this means cooperating with Allies on developing a division-sized unit and its leadership structure, which would be ready to defend Estonia in case of a conflict," Kallas underlined.

The prime minister said, it is also very important that the allies decided to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO. The accession protocols will be signed shortly.

"Finland and Sweden joining NATO strengthens the security of us all. We have supported Finland and Sweden on their accession journey from day one and we will continue to support them throughout their process of joining NATO," Kallas said.

On Wednesday, NATO agreed to establish a divisional structure and assign a brigade-sized unit to Estonia, which the Baltic states had requested to reinforce their security.

It was agreed at the summit that Russia is the biggest threat to the alliance.

NATO pledges additional support for Ukraine

Andres Sutt (Reform), minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and acting Foreign Minister, said the summit, which included an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reaffirmed NATO's continued support to Ukraine and adopted an additional support package for Ukraine.

"With the new package, Ukraine will be provided with the equipment they currently need on the battlefield and the defense forces of Ukraine will be given support in switching to NATO standards and modern Western weapons systems," Minister Sutt said.

He added the summit also reiterated the continuation of NATO's open-door policy.

"Ukraine and Georgia still have a NATO membership perspective as stated at the 2008 NATO summit," Sutt said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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