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Defense forces chief: EU defense planning must be based on NATO standards

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras.
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

Commander of th Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Gen. Riho Terras, who participated in a meeting of the European Union Military Committee (EUMC) this week, said that the EU's defense planning must be based on NATO standards.

The meeting of the committee, which took place in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, discussed questions concerning EU military cooperation, including the realization of the EU's Global Strategy Implementation Plan, the EU's military and training missions and cooperation with NATO, spokespeople at the Headquarters of the Estonian Defence Forces said.

Terras said that it is important that Estonia in the framework of the presidency of the Council of the European Union has been able to significantly develop the permanent and structured defense cooperation initiative between member states, the aim of which is the better functioning and more effective protection of Europe.

"As the EU presidency, we have made an effort to speed up many important defense-related ventures," he said. "We hope that before the end of the year we will receive a supportive decision from the heads of state and government leaders to further increase defense cooperation between EU countries."

Terras said that it is still important to aspire towards a clear and duplication-eliminating working model in the cooperation between the EU and NATO, adding that the defense planning of the EU must be based on NATO standards.

Commanders of the defense forces of the European Union also received an overview of the military missions on the Mediterranean Sea, the northwestern coast of Africa, in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

At a closed session, the EUMC elected Gen. Claudio Graziano, commander of the Italian Defence Forces, as the next committee chairman; he will take over in November 2018.

The EUMC is the highest military body within the EU and consists of all of the chiefs of the defense forces of the EU member states. Gen. Mikhail Kostarakos of Greece has been leading the committee since November 2015.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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