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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet in Washington: cooperation between the European Union and the United States is the only possible direction in regards to the EU's Eastern partners


During Foreign Minister Urmas Paet's meeting in Washington with Special Assistant to the U.S. President Karen Donfried and discussions with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the topics of conversation included the extensive cooperation between Estonia and the United States both in the areas of international cyber security and in advocating Internet freedom.  Also, the European Union's and the United States' cooperation with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova was discussed.

On the subject of the upcoming NATO summit in the United Kingdom in September, Paet noted that it is important to get across a clear message in regards to the continued strengthening of the cooperation potential between NATO allies. "We have attained a high-level of cooperative capability between nations during the largest operation outside the area of NATO jurisdiction, carried out in Afghanistan. This cooperative effort must be maintained in the name of united defence, as well as for future operations," Paet said. "It is extremely important to adapt NATO's capabilities to new challenges, for which the Alliance's cyber security capabilities must be fostered," the foreign minister added.

Paet also emphasized the importance of the strong transatlantic link and cooperation between Europe and North America. "When the Transatlantic Declaration is accepted for approval in early September at the NATO summit, it must contain specific actions. Our contribution has to be fair and balanced," he noted. "The U.S.A.'s continued commitment to European defence is very important, as is the issue of the level of defence spending."

At the upcoming NATO summit, it is important to send a strong message to those countries wishing to join NATO in the future – Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Paet said.

Paet and Nuland also spoke about the need to connect Estonian and Finnish gas networks and the need to construct an LNG terminal. "It is very important in terms of the continued increase in regional energy security," they acknowledged.

On the situation in Ukraine, Paet said that the continued involvement of the EU and U.S., including cooperation in finding a solution and high-level visits to continue dialogue in Ukraine are very important. "Focusing on ending the violence, as well as dialogue are paramount," he added.

While discussing issues of Internet freedom with Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, Foreign Minister Paet noted that as chairman of the Freedom Online Coalition, Estonia will be hosting the conference “Free and Secure Internet for All” in Tallinn in the end of April. "We are pleased that Moldova joined the Freedom Online Coalition in early January – now the coalition has a total of 22 members," he said.

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