Mikser in US: Transatlantic unity remains solid

Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) meeting with members of Congress in Washington on Thursday. 7 February 2019.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) meeting with members of Congress in Washington on Thursday. 7 February 2019. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Flickr

At a meeting with the heads of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and members of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) said that transatlantic unity remains solid.

Mr Mikser met on Thursday with Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member of the Committee Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J. as well as with Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The meeting at the Senate was also attended by the foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania.

"Transatlantic unity and solidarity have helped preserve peace and stability in Europe for decades," Mr Mikser stressed. "NATO has been at the centre of it, and the commitment of the United States to the alliance continues to be of key importance."

The heads of both the Senate and House committees reaffirmed the US' commitment to preserving transatlantic unity and protecting its allies.

The discussion also included the importance of the United States' contribution to the Baltic region. 

"We appreciate the US' contribution to the security of the Baltics and wish to see it continued," Mr Mikser said. "US presence in our region is the best possible deterrence in the current security situation."

The foreign minister also added that Estonia shares the US' concern over sharing the burden of defence spending and expects mutual solidarity from all members of NATO in that regard.

The importance of maintaining a united position among allies regarding Russia was highlighted as well.

"Thus we are sending a signal that we do not accept attempts to undermine a world order based on international law and mutually agreed-upon rules," Mr Mikser said. "We commend the US Congress and administration for their strong, persistent policy in putting pressure on Russia to end the violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity."

Participants in the meeting agreed that the sanctions policy is necessary and must continue.

Mr Mikser and his Baltic colleagues also met with Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to discuss Russia's influencing activity.

"Russia is trying to weaken our societies and break up the unity of the EU and NATO by carrying out influencing activities, however we can tackle them by acting in a coordinated manner," the Estonia minister said.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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