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Estonia Expects NATO’s Strategic Concept to Bring Readiness for Collective Defence and Facing New Threats


Today Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo participated in a meeting of the NATO foreign and defence ministers in Brussels, where the topic of discussions was the draft of the alliance’s new Strategic Concept, which is to be approved at the Lisbon summit in November.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that in today’s security situation, NATO must continue to be ready to collectively defend the interests of its members and to react outside the borders of the alliance as well. “NATO’s readiness to react outside the borders of the alliance and co-operation with other international organisations are both essential. These are requirements in order to make NATO activities more efficient and ensure the success of missions, including civil-military co-operation missions,” said Paet, naming the important aspects of the new Strategic Concept in addition to collective defence.

Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo stated that in general Estonia is satisfied with the current draft of the new Strategic Concept. “For us it is important that the new fundamental document of the alliance addresses traditional security threats in addition to new ones, and that it preserves collective defence as one of the most important pillars of NATO,” said the defence minister.

Alongside the Washington Treaty, NATO’s Strategic Concept is the most important fundamental document of the alliance. The Strategic Concept describes the general security environment and determines the greatest security threats and measures for defending against these threats for the next 5-15 years. NATO’s current Strategic Concept was approved in 1999 at the Washington summit.

In addition to the joint session of foreign and defence ministers, Minister of Defence Aaviksoo also participated in a meeting of the NATO defence ministers this morning, where NATO’s military structure, the reform of the alliance’s agencies, and matters related to increasing capability were discussed.

“During the past few years we have worked actively in NATO to save on joint expenses, but we must admit to ourselves that this is merely practical advice. In our strategic plan we must increase Europe’s defence expenditure,” Minister of Defence Aaviksoo asserted.

At a separate meeting late tonight, the NATO foreign ministers will discuss the key political issues in the NATO Strategic Concept, including the development prospects of NATO’s partnership relations and the further development of civil and military co-operation in NATO.

Additional information:

637 7654
521 3085

Peeter Kuimet
Minister of Defence Press Spokesperson
Tel. 717 0116 / 56 56 41 88



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