Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (IRL) took part in a meeting of the defense ministers of nine Eastern and Central European countries of the Bucharest Nine (B9) format on Tuesday, the aim of which was to synchronize the positions of countries ahead of the NATO summit to be held in July.
The defense ministers of Estonia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary participated in the meeting, which also included U.S. and NATO representatives as observers, spokespeople for the Ministry of Defence said.
According to Luik, it is important to implement the decisions adopted at the alliance's Wales and Warsaw summits when strengthening the deterrence and defense position of NATO, but it is also important to take other steps as well.
"To continue strengthening deterrence, it is important to adapt to the changed security situation," Luik said, adding that this calls for joint exercises as well as improving the speed of NATO's decision-making and leadership.
The ministers agreed that the ability to move forces within the alliance must be improved.
"NATO and EU cooperation is definitely necessary to improve military mobility," Luik emphasized. "The EU must also take into account NATO's needs when developing its infrastructure."
Also discussed was the greater integration of cyberdefense into NATO's plans. According to Luik, the alliance must take cyber threats as seriously as conventional ones, and NATO's cyber policy must be reassessed.
Tuesday marked the first time that European defense ministers met in the B9 format.
Editor: Aili Vahtla