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Foreign Minister Paet: Failures in NATO-EU Relations Damaging to Both

15.10.2010

No. 315 – E

At the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that NATO’s most important strategic partner is the European Union, and when the opportunities given by these ties remain unused it is a serious waste of resources. “NATO and the European Union have 21 common members, and it’s about time relations between the two organisations started to function effectively,” he added.

Paet added that NATO’s most important partners must be seen in logical connection with NATO’s goals. “Our primary goal is the security of collective defence. In order to ensure the security of member states, NATO must be ready to efficiently respond to conflicts outside of NATO’s territory as well,” he stated. “Developing civil and military co-operation is a requirement for ensuring the success of NATO missions. Therefore it is in NATO’s interests to intensify co-operation with other members of the international community, and the European Union and the UN should be regarded as NATO’s most important partners,” he stated. Foreign Minister Paet said that failures in NATO-European Union co-operation damage the interests of both organisations.

While talking about NATO enlargement in the context of the preparations for NATO’s new Strategic Concept, Paet emphasised that Georgia and Ukraine’s NATO integration must depend on the domestic endeavours in each nation. “We must take into account that Georgia and Ukraine’s NATO-related activities are different today. However, the promise regarding the prospect of NATO membership that was given to these nations at the Bucharest summit is still in effect,” emphasised the Estonian foreign minister.

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