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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet meeting with the NATO Secretary General: we would like NATO's constant presence in all member states


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said at today's meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that Estonia would like to see a NATO presence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as it is in other NATO member states. "For example the Baltic Air Policing mission using Ämari Air Base, NATO member countries' ships being located in the Baltic Sea and the presence of NATO ground forces," Paet said. "Attention should also be paid to improving defence plans so that they are as realistic as possible," he added.

Paet said that in the face of the changing European security situation it is extremely vital that NATO commits to the development and implementation of medium and long-term deterrence methods and adopting a corresponding decision in principle at the NATO summit in September. "It is also important that NATO member states contribute 2 percent of the GDP to defence, as has been previously agreed in principle," he said.

Foreign Minister Paet and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen also discussed the situation in Ukraine. "In the current crisis, Ukraine must be supported both politically and practically," Paet said. "It is very important that the local government does not lose control over events in eastern Ukraine and that the conflict de-escalates. The carrying out of the presidential elections on May 25 is extremely crucial for the future development of Ukraine," he added.

Speaking on the topic of NATO's further enlargement, Paet considers it important that in the new security situation, it is necessary to continue NATO's open-door policy according to the North Atlantic Treaty, which allows all European countries to join the Alliance who share common values and perceptions. "When a county is invited and joins is a readiness issue," Paet said. "The summit should endorse that the Alliance's close and capable partners have the opportunity to join. As do candidates, who are ready for it. We need to seriously evaluate this in June," he added.

Paet said that Estonia supports granting Georgia a Membership Action Plan or MAP and that Montenegro's readiness to join must be seriously considered.
Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be visiting Estonia on May 8 and 9 in order to speak with Estonian leaders about the changed security situation in Europe. Tomorrow, on Friday May 9, Rasmussen will give a public lecture at Tallinn University in cooperation with the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association and visit Ämari Air Base with Foreign Minister Urmas Paet.

Photos of the meeting:

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