Reinsalu: Poland plays key role in security of Estonia

Ministers Reinsalu (left) and Czaputowicz.
Ministers Reinsalu (left) and Czaputowicz. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) met with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz in Warsaw on Friday. The meeting focused on bilateral relations, security issues, the future of the EU's Eastern Partnership program, the importance of supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, and the status of Russia on the Council of Europe.

From the point of view of Estonia's security, Poland plays a key role, Reinsalu said. "We share a similar understanding of threats and our regional security situation with Poland."

Reinsalu also expressed appreciation of Poland's contribution to NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission, and pointed out that Polish fighter jets will rotate to Estonia's Ämari air base in 2020.

The minister also recognized Poland's importance to Estonia in its consistent support of the current EU policy towards Russia. "Unfortunately, Russia is working against implementing the Minsk agreements. We cannot become spectators in a situation where aggression against Ukraine continues, or the situation in the occupied areas of Georgia deteriorates," Reinsalu said.

Another topic discussed was cooperation between Poland and the United States in the area of security, including potential opportunities for Estonia to be more closely involved with U.S. forces deployed to Poland.

"We welcome the possible growth of U.S. forces in Poland, which will give Estonia better opportunities for military cooperation with the USA," Reinsalu said.

Both ministers also made it a point to stress that the European Union's strength lies in its being a union of nation states, and that every member needs to have maximum control in migration issues.

The ministers also discussed the future of the EU's Eastern Partnership program. While acknowledging its increased importance to both countries, they also noted that a lot still remains to be done.

"We need a new vision and direction to continue with the Eastern Partnership beyond 2020, when the current work plan adopted three years ago will end," Reinsalu said. "Poland has shown great leadership, and Estonia's task is to show support and involve other EU member states for the Eastern Partners to have a clear road ahead that leads to Europe," he added.

Reinsalu and Czaputowicz also talked about denouncing crimes of communism as well as research on this topic in Europe. Reinsalu also introduced his Polish colleague to the idea of a memorial center for the victims of crimes of communist regimes to be established in Estonia.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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