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The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson and his colleagues, the Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committees of Nordic and Baltic parliaments, met the Chair of the US Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Democrat Christopher Murphy, and the Ranking Member, Republican Ron Johnson, on Monday during their working visit to the United States of America

They discussed relations between USA and Europe and opportunities for developing these. Also discussed were economic issues and security cooperation. The senators emphasised that one of the keys to strengthening cooperation is for Europe to assume more extensive responsibility in security. Senator Johnson picked out Estonia as an example of budget balance and volume of defence expenses, among other things.

At the meeting with the former US Ambassador to NATO, Nordic and Baltic security perspectives and the possible role of the USA were discussed.

Mihkelson pointed out that US influence on world politics has been declining recently and that this could not help but to affect what is going on in the Nordic and Baltic security environment. “It is increasingly difficult for the USA to keep the status of a super power because strategic politics have been replaced by tactical or short term activities. At the same time, particularly in view of the ever multiplying challenges of the modern world, there is no alternative to US-European cooperation. For this, the best tool is still NATO and its constant strengthening,” Mihkelson said.

A meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kin Moy is planned for Tuesday. The strengthening of the US Asian strategy is discussed. The Chairmen of the Foreign Affairs Committees will also meet the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Marie L. Yovanovitch with whom they plan to discuss mostly Trans-Atlantic relations. The meeting with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy James J. Townsend will focus on EU-NATO security cooperation.

During the three day visit, Mihkelson will also meet the Executive Director of the World Bank Anna Brandt, the National Security Council Director of European Strategic Affairs John Bussolari, Director of Eastern Europe Lyn Debevoise and Director of Northern Europe John Winant.

The Riigikogu Press Service