Foreign minister: Ukraine's only security guarantee is NATO membership
Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) on Friday met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss the Alliance's continued support for Ukraine and preparations for the Vilnius summit.
The foreign minister thanked Stoltenberg for his leadership in supporting Ukraine and recognized his recent visit to Kyiv, which gave Ukraine a clear perspective in the Alliance.
"Today's meeting with the secretary general of NATO reaffirmed that we are committed to providing practical and political support to Ukraine for as long as necessary," Tsahkna said.
Estonia contributes to NATO's extensive assistance package to provide practical aid that Ukraine most urgently needs to defend itself.
Estonia's goal is for Ukraine to receive a clear roadmap for joining NATO at the Vilnius summit in July and to reaffirm the Alliance's open-door policy.
"Just as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently stated in Finland, we would also like Ukraine to become the Alliance's 33rd full member after Sweden," Tsahkna said.
He reiterated there can be no grey areas in Europe and NATO membership is Ukraine's only security guarantee.
"I am sure that NATO will defend every inch of its territory. However, to ensure peace, we must be prepared to defend ourselves and to do it efficiently. Last year in Madrid, we agreed on NATO's new strategic concept," Tsahkna said, adding that quick progress is needed in implementing it.
"In the new security situation, all Allies should increase their defense spending to 2.5 percent of their GDP by 2030. Estonia's defense spending will rise to more than 3 percent of its GDP as early as next year."
Tsahkna also said he hoped Türkiye and Hungary would ratify Sweden's membership before the summit.
The meeting also covered progress with opening the Estonian branch of NATO's innovation accelerator DIANA.
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Editor: Helen Wright