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The Foreign Affairs and National Defence Committees of the Riigikogu met the Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas in Stenbock House on Wednesday to discuss Estonia’s positions ahead of the NATO summit it Wales. The National Defence Committee also met the Minister of Defence Sven Mikser in the Riigikogu to discuss the same issue.

“All the political forces in Estonia agree that we must achieve the permanent presence of allied forces to cement our security. Russia should not get the slightest inkling that it could build something on any weakness from the part of us, i.e. the NATO,” the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson said on the subject of deterrence vis-à-vis Russia.

The parties agreed that the presence of NATO allies in Estonia was very necessary in the current security situation. The Prime Minister said that the most important topic for Estonia at the Welsh summit will be the strengthening of the deterrence position and the collective defence at NATO’s Eastern flank. “NATO must continue to carry out the activities that were approved in April, but also adapt its general military deterrence position to the new security situation in Europe,” Rõivas said. The Prime Minister gave his assurance that the government – at the level of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs – has been working actively over the recent months, and will continue to do so after the summit.

The Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mati Raidma points to an existing political consensus that Estonia will find additional funds with the help of its allies to increase military presence outside the two percent GDP level allocated to national defence.

“In this context, it is very gratifying to hear that Finland and Sweden have recently expressed their preparedness to receive NATO units on their soil. The Ministers of Defence expect the relevant agreements to be signed in Wales,” Raidma said.

The NATO summit will take place in Wales on 4–5 September. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas will head our national delegation, which will also include the Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet, the Minister of Defence Sven Mikser, and the Commander of the Defence Forces Major General Riho Terras. Latvia and Lithuania will be represented by their Presidents. The summit in Wales will be the last one for the current NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose office will be taken over by the former Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg.

Photos of the meeting.