US Congressional delegation meets with Estonian leaders in Tallinn
A U.S. Congressional delegation led by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) visited Estonia on August 9-10 to meet with Estonian leaders, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary Kusti Salm as well as Deputy Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Maj. Gen. Veiko-Vello Palm.
At his meeting with the U.S. senator, Reinsalu underlined the need to increase Western defense assistance to Ukraine, which is currently fighting not only for its own freedom but also the principles valued by the entire democratic world, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
Reinsalu also welcomed the passing of a resolution in the U.S. Senate in late July calling on the U.S: secretary of state to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.
"Russia must answer for its genocidal war in Ukraine," the foreign minister said. "It is our responsibility to establish an international tribunal for crimes of aggression."
Echoing a call made by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Tuesday and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin before that, Reinsalu added that the issuing of tourist visas to Russian citizens must be stopped "while Ukrainians are paying with their lives for Russia's brutal war. It is our moral duty."
He also thanked Cotton for the U.S.' substantial contribution to both Estonian and European security. "We discussed the followup of NATO's June summit in Madrid, including working on reinforcing the [alliance's] defense and deterrence posture in Estonia," Reinsalu said.
PermSec #KustiSalm met w/ @SenTomCotton & thanked him for support to national #defence. Even though allied assistance is indispensable the principle of burden sharing is important, with defence spending this year at 2.4% of GDP. @USEmbTallinn #WeAreNATO #WeAreAllies pic.twitter.com/GowWWFaE9p— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) August 10, 2022
"Estonia is a great friend and a strong ally that takes its defense and that of NATO seriously," Cotton said according to a press release. "It's been a pleasure to visit Tallinn and to hear Estonia's perspective on our partnership as we work together to address the security threats posed by Russia and China."
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Editor: Aili Vahtla