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Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson is currently visiting Washington to present Estonia’s priorities of the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the United States Senate. He is also taking part in a conference on NATO and US defence policy.

Mihkelson will be speaking on the Russian military exercise Zapad-2017, and the military threats in the region at a conference organised jointly by the Estonian Embassy and the Atlantic Council.

He will focus on analysing Russia’s military doctrine and geopolitical interests, as well as on the existence and nature of the role played by large-scale military exercises in mobilising the Russian society.  

Mihkelson does not see the large exercises directed against the Western countries as a recent trend. “We must not forget that the large-scale Zapad exercises go back to the Cold War period. The only difference is that the scenarios of the exercises at the time mainly targeted the Danish Straits, and not the Baltic states and Poland, like now. So in fact these activities have long traditions, and the NATO allies must respond adequately,” Mihkelson said. 

On Wednesday, at the inaugural event of the Estonian Presidency, Mihkelson will talk about Estonia’s priorities as well as the EU–US relations.

At a meeting in the Congress on Thursday, the focus will be on EU–US cooperation and the main topics of Estonia’s Presidency. Other participants of the event include member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe, Congressman Gregory Meeks, member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Joe Wilson, and Ambassador of the European Union to the United States David O’Sullivan.

During the visit, Mihkelson will also have one-on-one meetings with members of the US Congress. He will also meet members of the US press. 

Epp-Mare Kukemelk
Head of Communications
Chancellery of the Riigikogu
Tel +372 631 6356
Cell +372 515 3903
Lossi plats 1a, 15165 Tallinn, Estonia
www.riigikogu.ee

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