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Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Marko Mihkelson and Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Kalev Stoicescu discussed the common approach of the Allies in supporting Ukraine and the next steps in strengthening the security of the Baltic Sea region with the two Assistant Secretaries General of NATO at NATO headquarters in Brussels today.

Stoicescu said that the meetings with NATO Assistant Secretary General for Intelligence and Security Scott Bray and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning Angus Lapsley had given reassurance that the Alliance had learned the right lessons from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, but the work to strengthen deterrence and speed up defence capability development must continue at an accelerated pace. He underlined that at the NATO summit in Washington in July, the allies must demonstrate not only unity and effective support for Ukraine, but also tangible progress in strengthening collective defence.

Mihkelson pointed out that it was good to see that NATO was in good health and making rapid progress in defending its members and deterring the enemy. “This applies in particular to military planning and command and control. At the same time, the member states need to understand already today that the new floor for defence spending should be three per cent of GDP – just as we have already done in Estonia,” he stated.

Before the meetings at NATO Headquarters, Mihkelson and Stoicescu participated in the Inter-parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy in Bruges, Belgium, where the discussions focused on continuing and consistent support to Ukraine and strengthening European security. The Conference also addressed the impacts of the war between Israel and Hamas on the global security situation.

The Conference was held within the framework of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which lasts from 1 January until the end of June.

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
+372 631 6356, +372 520 0323
[email protected]
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