Article is more than five years old, has been archived and is no longer updated.

Ratas in Brussels: NATO to continue to bolster collective capability

{{1531379340000 | amCalendar}}
NATO leaders watch a helicopter display at the summit in Brussels yesterday.
NATO leaders watch a helicopter display at the summit in Brussels yesterday. Source: Robin Utrecht/Sipa/SCANPIX

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is in Brussels for the NATO Summit which continues today. Yesterday, evening Wednesday, he spoke about the discussions which had happened so far, focussing on transatlantic unity, strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence posture, and fair burden-sharing.

"The discussion at the NATO summit today clearly showed that Allies understand the importance and the role of NATO in guaranteeing transatlantic security," said Jüri Ratas, according to a Government press release, at the end of the first working session.

"As a result of the decisions made today, the Alliance will continue to strengthen its deterrence and defence posture to be able to respond to all threats,'' he went on.

''In addition, the amount of allied forces in high readiness is to increase, and the ability to move additional troops within Europe and across the Atlantic, when needed, will improve,'' Mr. Ratas continued.

Increasing defence spending

The Allied nations are also reportedly committed to increasing their defence expenditure.

"Most NATO Allies are moving towards the set goal of 2%, as well as investing at least 20% of their defence budget in major procurements and research and development activities," added Mr. Ratas.

Estonia itself has been meeting the 2% of GDP NATO contribution requirement for several years.

NATO leaders at the summit also approved the mechanism which allows the alliance to use allied cyber capabilities during operations.

"Estonia supports NATO in strengthening its deterrence and security position towards cyberspace, as well," the Prime Minister continued.

Cyber threats capabilities

"Strengthening NATO's deterrence and defence posture in cyber is also important, because today's threats derive also from cyber," he said

"This will be supported by a mechanism approved by the heads of state and government, which allows the Alliance to use allies' cyber capabilities in NATO operations," he concluded.

Jüri Ratas is participating in the NATO summit in Brussels on 11–12 July and accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser, Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, and General Riho Terras, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces.

Foreign minister's meeting

Foreign Minister of Estonia Sven Mikser attended a meeting yesterday with his NATO counterparts as well, together with the Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Tunisia and Iraq, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

The meeting reportedly focused on challenges emanating from the south, projecting stability, and enhancement of defence capabilities.

"It is in the interest of Estonia's security to ensure stability in NATO's neighbourhood,'' said Mr Mikser

''It will improve our and our allies' safety. This requires close cooperation with partner countries, that share the alliance's values and interests, and cooperation between NATO and the EU," he went on, adding that increasing the defence capabilities of partner countries is one important part of the cooperation.

"Our priority is also participation in the international fight against terrorism,'' Mr. Mikser continued.

''The fight against terrorism is also an important component of finding a solution to the migration crisis and is therefore also a priority for the EU, which will enable more cooperation between the two organisations," he added.  

This afternoon, Thursday, Sven Mikser is due to take part in a meeting of the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS hosted by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the Ministry press release.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: