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This week, Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Kalev Stoicescu met with members of the Congress, and the representatives of the administration and the think tanks of the United States in Washington to explain Estonia’s perception of threat as a NATO and European border state and to highlight the need to strengthen the defence and deterrence capabilities of NATO allies at this critical time.

“Sensing the threat posed by our aggressive neighbouring country, we spend 3.2 per cent of our gross domestic product on defence and have contributed significantly to granting military assistance to Ukraine. Now is a critical time for the Allies to develop our defence and deterrence capabilities, to which the Congress has contributed greatly in recent years through the Baltic Security Initiative,” said Stoicescu, who during his visit focused on promoting the defence cooperation between Estonia and the USA and on explaining Estonia’s perception of threat as a NATO and European border state.

Stoicescu welcomed the fact that before the US presidential elections, the representatives of the Congress reaffirmed that the allied relations of the US with Estonia are strong and would not change, regardless of the election results.

During the visit, which lasted from Tuesday to Friday, Stoicescu met with Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith, and members of the Congress Tim Burchett, Ralph Norman, Larry Bucshon, Carol Miller, Gabe Amo and Derrick Van Orden. He also had a meeting with Sonata Coulter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State overseeing policy toward Russia and Central Europe, with whom he spoke of the threat posed by Russia.

In Pentagon, the Chairman of the National Defence Committee discussed the bilateral defence cooperation between Estonia and the USA and NATO’s upcoming Washington Summit with Principal Director for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defence Alton Buland. Stoicescu also participated in a discussion with the analysts from think tank RAND Corporation, and spoke at a round table dedicated to the war in Ukraine at the think tank American Enterprise Institute. Besides that, Stoicescu and the Ambassador of Estonia Kristjan Prikk, as well as representatives of many other countries, attended the ceremony of laying a wreath at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington.

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