The U.S. is firmly committed to ensuring NATO collective defense and military presence in Europe, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov, on a visit to the U.S., said after meeting with the U.S. Secretaries of the Navy and Air Force.
Following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer and U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson, Vseviov was quoted by the Ministry of Defence as saying that in its recently published 2018 National Defense Strategy, the U.S. emphasized both the need to strengthen allied relations as well as to condemn the actions of Russia and stand against them.
"These kind of guiding principles are also included in Estonia's security objectives," Vseviov noted.
F-16 fighter jets belonging to the 112th Fighter Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard are to rehearse at Ämari Air Base from January to March, and U.S. Navy vessels will be on the Baltic Sea.
"Estonia is fully prepared to regularly host U.S. military aircraft and ships in the future as well," he added.
Vseviov also met with Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Martha Roby (R-Ala.). "I am thankful for the cross-house and cross-party decision of the members of Congress to support the European deterrence initiative, which has helped increase U.S. military presence in Europe and also invest in the development and infrastructure of Estonia's independent defense capability," said the Estonian official.
While in Washington, Vseviov is also to meet with Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood and U.S. Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper, as well as give a presentation at Georgetown University.
Editor: Aili Vahtla