The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) approved the conclusions of the report “NATO Deterrence in the Baltic Sea Region: Current Situation and Perspectives”, and presented its recommendations to the Government.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee Marko Mihkelson noted that when the Committee had initiated the report in the autumn, it had been very insightful, because deterrence was a very topical issue in the Baltic Sea region before the NATO Warsaw Summit. “We are referring to important capability gaps on the Baltic Sea, and quite a number of facts from our report are being discussed by the allies today,” Mihkelson said.
According to Mihkelson, by now the alliance has reached a fundamental agreement that the number of allied forces in the Baltic States and Poland will increase. “At the same time, it should be kept in mind that NATO Warsaw Summit is just one moment in increasing the deterrence capability of the alliance for combating various threats,” Mihkelson said.
Mihkelson emphasised that national defence was a cross-party issue, and therefore the Committee presented all the conclusions and recommendations of the report by consensus.
The National Defence Committee notes in the conclusions of its report that because of the security situation on the Baltic Sea, which has become more tense in recent years, NATO collective defence should be made more effective. At the same time it should not be forgotten that allied relations work in a crisis situation only when Estonia can enhance independent defence capability more than it has done so far.
Among other things, the report also supports the creation of an adequate air defence system and NATO’s permanent presence on the Baltic Sea. Besides that, the conclusions of the report contain remarks on nuclear deterrence.
The report compiled by the National Defence Committee is an important political document that contains recommendations to the Government for making further decisions in the area of defence.
The publication of the report “NATO Deterrence in the Baltic Sea Region: Current Situation and Perspectives” and relevant discussion as a matter of significant national importance are planned for the 8 June sitting of the Riigikogu. At the sitting, reports will be presented by Chairman of the National Defence Committee Marko Mihkelson, Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso and research fellow of the International Centre for Defence and Security Kalev Stoicescu.
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