On Monday November 20, Estonian Ambassador to the United States Kristjan Prikk and Michael Laychak, Director of the Defense Technology Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Defense, signed an agreement on the exchange of classified information between the two countries at the Estonian Embassy in Washington.
The agreement sets out the conditions for the exchange and protection of classified information in Estonia and the United States.
Ambassador Prikk said, that whereas the first analogous agreement between Estonia and the United States was signed as early as 2000, this agreement represents taking the next step.
"While Estonia's cooperation with the United States has been excellent in every area, the new agreement reflects a further expansion of cooperation between our two countries. The new agreement helps to improve the exchange of classified information, especially in foreign relations, cybersecurity and cooperation between police structures. The agreement also provides additional possibilities for Estonian companies who would like to expand to the U.S. market and take part in classified tenders," the ambassador said.
The agreement on the protection of classified information is aimed at providing maximum mutual protection for the state secrets of both Estonia and the United States in accordance with international law.
Estonia has agreements of the same kind with 32 of its closest partners. The first analogous agreement between Estonia and the United States was signed in 2000, but only covered the principles of protecting the two countries' classified military information. The new agreement however, establishes grounds for the exchange of all forms of classified information.
The agreement will now be registered at the UN Secretariat and published in the Riigi Teataja, the Estonian state's official publication for legislation, after it has entered into force.
Additional information can be found on the website of the Estonia National Security Authority, which is supervising the implementation of the agreement, here.
Editor: Michael Cole