Common challenges have given boost to NATO-EU cooperation, says Jüri Ratas

Jüri Ratas (right) in conversation with Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen at yesterday's NATO summit. Source: AFP/SCANPIX

During an official dinner at the NATO summit in Brussels on Wednesday evening, NATO leaders discussed current common security challenges and their effects on transatlantic security, including the effects of the actions of Russia, NATO-EU cooperation, and future joint activities.

As well as EU leaders Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, the dinner was graced by the presence of President of Finland Sauli Niinisto and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, according to Estonian Government spokespersons.

Currently neither Finland or Sweden are members of NATO.

"The Allies were in agreement that the threats are different and complex, and the response to them has to be united and clear,'' said Jüri Ratas after the dinner.

''This concerns both the reaction to Russian malicious activity, as well as to cyber attacks and terrorism,'' he continued.

''In this regard, it is very important that NATO and the European Union have taken a significant step in developing cooperation between the two organizations over the past couple of years," Mr. Ratas added.

Joint Declaration

The Estonian leader emphasized that the signing of the new Joint Declaration on cooperation between NATO and the EU at the summit reflects the aspirations of the West to further ensure peace, stability, and economic prosperity.

From an Estonian perspective, it is vital to continue with military mobility in the field of NATO-EU cooperation, according to Mr. Ratas.

This would make the movement of NATO troops across the borders of EU member states faster and easier, he said.

Mr. Ratas welcomed the invitation of Macedonia to begin membership talks with the NATO alliance, affirming that the door remains open to new members.

The summit, also attended by US President Donald Trump who has made various statements about his disapproval of EU and in particular German reliance on Russian energy, continues today.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: BNS

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