At the meeting of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) with the Defence Committee of Eduskunta (Parliament of Finland) today, the need to enhance cooperation in combating the increased threats to security was emphasised.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson said that in the present security situation, the neighbouring states of Russia have to be very careful. It is especially important at the time when Europe is dealing with the refugee crisis coming from Africa and Middle East and economic recession, Islamic extremism is spreading and threat of terrorism prevails, and the presidential election campaign has started in the United States.
“Taking all this into account, the behaviour of our eastern neighbour is unpredictable, and therefore Estonia pays very much attention to national defence,” Mihkelson said at the joint sitting. He emphasised that the defence cooperation of Estonia and Finland has noticeable room for development.
Deputy Chairman of the National Defence Committee Mart Helme noted that Estonia and Finland could intensify cooperation in ensuring cyber security.
The head of the Finnish delegation Ilkka Kanerva said that a very lively security debate is going on in Finland. In Kanerva’s opinion, cooperation is very necessary, and contacts with colleagues help comprehend the common security risks better.
Members of the National Defence Committee Marko Mihkelson, Mart Helme, Ants Laaneots, Madis Milling, Johannes Kert and Ain Lutsepp participated in the joint sitting.
The joint sitting of the Finnish Defence Committee and the Estonian National Defence Committee is the most long-standing format of international cooperation of the committees of the Riigikogu. Since 17 May 1993, when the Chairman Kalevi Lamminen and Secretary Alpo Rivinoja of the Defence Committee of the Eduskunta visited the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu, the cooperation with the Finnish colleagues has been close, and regular working meetings are held every year.
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