Välisminister Sven Mikser kinnitas kohtumisel Moldova välis- ja eurointegratsiooni ministri Andrei Galburiga kahe riigi häid suhteid ja julgustas Moldovat jätkama Euroopa Liidu kursil.
Mikseri sõnul tuleb Moldoval jätkata reformide elluviimist, et püsida teel ühinemaks Euroopa Liiduga. „Reformid peavad suurendama riigi efektiivsust ja läbipaistvust ning vähendama korruptsiooni, et tagada inimeste heaolu ja turvalisus,“ sõnas Mikser.
Eesti soovib peatse Euroopa Liidu Nõukogu eesistujana hoida tähelepanu idapartnerlusel ning tugevdada suhteid nende riikidega. Ta lisas, et oluline on pöörata suuremat tähelepanu Euroopa Liidu tegevuste arusaadavusele ja nähtavusele ning toetada idapartnereid strateegilise kommunikatsiooni võimekuse tõstmisel. Eesti EL-i eesistumise ajal toimub novembris Brüsselis idapartnerluse tippkohtumine.
Moldova on jätkuvalt Eesti arengukoostöö üks prioriteetriike. „Eesti peamised suunad koostöös Moldovaga on sel aastal tervishoiuteenuse kvaliteedi ja kättesaadavuse parandamine, õiguskaitsesektori reformide toetamine ning ettevõtluse edendamine just naiste ja noorte seas. Nendes valdkondades pöörame enim tähelepanu e-lahenduste tutvustamisele ja juurutamisele,“ ütles Mikser.
Sarnaselt eelmisele aastale on Eesti tänavune arenguabi Moldovale ligi 950 000 eurot.
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The address of the Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, General Riho Terras, to the parade in honour of the 99th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia on February 24, 2017 in Tallinn.
Honourable President of the Republic!
Honourable President of the Riigikogu!
Mister Prime Minister!
Your Excellencies! Members of the Defence Forces and the Defence League!
Dear compatriots!99 years ago, Estonia created itself a new future. Proclamation of the republic was a clear demonstration that our own statehood is the best way to preserve our people, our language and culture.
Europe was caught in the whirlwind of the First World War, which erased empires from the map and created an opportunity for the birth of nation states.
A small nation only has a slight chance to establish its own state. An unlikely chance. Such moments need to occur in favourable times and environments. On top of that, people themselves have take charge on the right day and the right hour.
Our people were ready for that day. Estonia had its educated intellectuals and nationally-minded leaders. Estonia had the individuals who hoped, believed, and willed. Who went into battle and won Estonia’s independent statehood.
Indeed, the wider significance of the War of Independence in our history is the recognition that even a small nation has its place under the sun and the right to make its own decisions as a state. The War of Independence gave us courage and confidence to claim that this here is the Estonian state.
Today, on the 99th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, at the foot of the War of Independence Victory Column, it is appropriate to remember those for whom Estonia remained forever young. Who gave their lives without knowing, what will happen, but hoping that our people and our state will persist.
The days of the War of Independence proved to us that we can only be strong as long as we have friends and allies beside us. We remember from history, how important the military support from the British navy was to turn the tide of the battle in our favour. In addition to the Brits, volunteers from many other countries had come to fight for Estonia’s independence.
Similarly, we are strong today, because Estonia is a member of the world’s mightiest military alliance. No country has managed to call into question the effectiveness of NATO’s deterrence. This power was created to protect our members from any kind of military threat. This power is present in Estonia. Estonia is a part of this power.
Deployment of allied forces on the territory of NATO members is normal and customary practice. Like in Estonia, the US troops are present in military bases of more than half of NATO member states. These troops are involved in training and defence cooperation. The goal is to improve the efficiency of communication between allies and to ensure better protection of NATO.
In the spring of this year, the town of Tapa will welcome more than a thousand new inhabitants whose daily work and service is associated with NATO’s increased presence in the eastern part of the alliance. The United Kingdom is the lead nation of this battle group, with French and Danish servicemen also serving side by side with our British friends.
For Estonian Defence Forces, it is almost like a reunion with our brothers in arms. We served with the Brits in the difficult conditions of Afghanistan. Together with the French, we were the first to respond to the outburst of religious violence in the Central African Republic. The Danes served with us, shoulder to shoulder, in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Our wish is to make our allies feel welcome in Estonia. For this, the Estonian state has made the necessary preparations. We have built new barracks and extended our training grounds. But the most important is for Estonian people to accept our allies. This is the best way to move together closer to the ultimate objective of Estonia’s presence in NATO and NATO’s presence in Estonia. This objective is ensuring better protection for us.
Collective defence and independent defence capability are two equally important pillars of Estonia’s national defence. Estonian state has been consistent in its choices, with the development of the Defence Forces remaining in the public focus for many years. We cannot afford to look idly to the horizon, hands at our sides, waiting for help from the West. Protection is afforded to those who want and can protect themselves.
The development of our national defence in the coming years will require involvement of a larger number of conscripts in bolstering our reserve forces. We have tested the preparedness and skills of our reservists in large exercises and flash meetings. We have seen a real and considerable desire and willingness of Estonian people to defend our country.
In order for Estonian Defence Forces to train more conscripts, we need to be prepared for a closer dialogue with entire Estonian society. Estonian Defence Forces would like to see that our young people are healthy and active. That they perceive the conscript service as an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills. Our reserve forces are based on such knowledge and skills. They help to keep our independent defence capability continually up to date.
However, if we want to be able to protect Estonia in the future, we need to increase our numbers. Today, survival and growth of Estonian people is a crucial challenge. For the members of the Defence Forces, this issue has a very practical dimension – with whom and who are we protecting?
I am very glad that we have many families where participation in conscript service, reserve meetings or exercises of the Defence League is a natural choice. There are large families that have raised quite a few defenders of the country.
Today, standing here on the Freedom Square, I would like to thank and mention the family of Kirschenbergs from Southern Estonia as a positive example. Four of the five sons in this family began their service in the Kuperjanov Battalion. The fifth son, the youngest, has said that he would like to start his conscript service in the Kuperjanov Battalion in the next year. This is a clear sign that serving Estonia is a matter of honour in this family.
Dear people of Estonia!
A few hours ago, a video bridge connected us to our servicemen who serve their country far from home. Our troops have taken part in missions in different corners of the world for more than 20 years. They have made Estonia greater. They have given us the opportunity to speak and decide as an equal among our friends and allies. Our soldiers have built a bridge of trust, which has brought allies to Estonia.
Our willingness to be present in places, where vulnerable groups are in need of protection or where peace needs to be kept with arms, is a confirmation that Estonia sees itself as a part of a community. A community firmly based on European principles and values.
In an unpredictable and changeable world, we need to remember that the independence and freedom of our people has never been and will never be a given. The Estonian state was established to protect our people and our freedom.
Long live the Republic of Estonia!
Täna Vilniuses visiidil viibiv Eesti eriesindaja Euroopa Liidu institutsioonide juures Matti Maasikas rõhutas kohtumistel Leedu asevälisministrite Albinas Zananavičiuse ja Darius Skusevičiuse, kaitseminister Raimundas Karoblise ning välisministeeriumi kolleegide ja Leedu parlamendi Euroopa asjade komisjoniga, et on oluline maad kuulata ja õppida neilt, kes on eesistumise tuleristsed juba läbinud.
„Leedu oli eesistuja peaaegu neli aastat tagasi, nende eesistumine oli tõhus ja edukas ning seega on kasulik tutvuda nende kogemuste ja teadmistega ning neist parimad kasutusele võtta,“ ütles Maasikas. Tema sõnul on Eesti Euroopa Liidu Nõukogu eesistumise ettevalmistused graafikus, põhiprioriteedid paigas ja sündmuste kalender suures osas koos.
Kohtumisel kõneldi ka Ühendkuningriigi Euroopa Liidust väljaastumisega kaasnevatest mõjudest ja tagajärgedest. Eriesindaja andis ülevaate Ühendkuningriigi lahkumisläbirääkimiste eest vastutava ministri David Davise esmaspäevasest Eesti-visiidist. Üksmeelselt tõdeti, et on nii Eesti, Leedu kui kogu Euroopa Liidu huvides, et läbirääkimised kulgeksid konstruktiivselt ja koosmeele vaimus. Maasika hinnangul on Euroopa Liidu 27 liikmesriigi ühtsuse säilimine, milles Eesti sel aastal eesistujana veel eriline vastutus, äärmiselt oluline. „Me peame kindlustama oma kodanike ja ettevõtete õigused ning säilitama Ühendkuningriigiga head ja lähedased suhted, kus valitseb kohustuste ja õiguste tasakaal.“
Maasika sõnul mõtlevad Eesti ja Leedu paljude teemade puhul sarnaselt, ühiselt toetatakse idapartnerluses konkreetsemate tulemuste saavutamist. Idapartnerluse tippkohtumine Eesti eesistumise ajal on 24. novembril Brüsselis, kõrvalüritustena on kavandamisel mitmed konverentsid ja ärifoorumid, kuhu oodatakse kõrgetasemelisi osalejaid ka Leedust. „Kuut riiki hõlmav idapartnerlus on poliitika, millega Euroopa Liit saab toetada ja kaasa aidata nende riikide inimeste heaolu parandamisele, riikide lähenemisele Euroopale ning nende omavahelise koostöö tugevdamisele. Samas hoiame tähelepanu all nende riikide vajadust tõsta haldussuutlikkust ja vähendada korruptsiooni ning see on meie kõigi huvides,“ kinnitas Maasikas. Ta lisas, et idapartnerluse ruumis tuleb suuremat tähelepanu pöörata ka strateegilisele kommunikatsioonile.
Transatlantilistest suhetest rääkides oldi ühte meelt selles, et on oluline tagada Euroopa Liidu ühtsus suhetes USAga, tugevdada on vaja küber- ja digipoliitikaalast koostööd. Eriesindaja sõnul pooldab Eesti transatlantilise ühtsuse säilitamist ka sanktsioonipoliitikas, sest sanktsioonide põhjused ehk Krimmi annekteerimine ja Venemaa agressioon Ukrainas pole kuhugi kadunud, vaid on jätkunud siiani.
USA on oluline Euroopa julgeoleku toetaja ning tagaja, samuti hea koostööpartner terrorismivastases võitluses. Maasikas rõhutas, et Euroopa soovib USAga tihedat partnerlust nii rahvusvaheliste kriiside lahendamisel kui ka kaubanduses.
Kohtumistel olid kõne all veel Euroopa Liidu laienemis- ja energiapoliitika, ränne ning teised aktuaalsed välispoliitilised teemad.
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At his meeting with Mohamed Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna held negotiations for expanding opportunities for cyber defence cooperation.
“Bilateral relations between Estonia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have primarily intensified in the field of ICT. The Minister of State for Defence Affairs for the UAE emphasised that more and more contributions must be made to cyber defence, and within that field there is great interest in Estonia’s experiences and new solutions,” said Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna.
According to Tsahkna, Estonia’s advantage in the defence industry sector are its innovative solutions, and greater attention has already been paid to developments in cyber defence, border defence and unmanned systems.
Minister Tsahkna, along with the Estonian company Milrem, met yesterday with IGG Aselsan Systems, the largest defence industry company in the United Arab Emirates. Within the framework of that meeting, IGG and Milrem concluded an agreement to begin selling unmanned armoured ground vehicles to the United Arab Emirates. A meeting also took place with the company ST Kinetics, from Singapore, with which Milrem is holding negotiations concerning the construction of a joint development and manufacturing enterprise in Estonia.
Ingvar Pärnamäe, CEO of the Estonian Defence Industry Association, stated that the arrival of ST Kinetics in Estonia would be an important milestone for Estonia’s defence industry in terms of the development of the sector. “The willingness and desire of ST Kinetics to come to Estonia is important to Milrem, who will be able to move forward more boldly with its own product development, and very important to Estonia's defence industry as a whole, since it shows that our companies have reached the next level of development in terms of their development and results, which is valued in the world," said Pärnamäe, assessing the start of the important cooperation.
Negotiations also took place with local border security representatives, who have tested the border defence system Smartdec, developed by Estonian company Defendec, on the border between UAE and Oman. That same border defence system is also used to monitor Estonia's land borders along with all land borders in the Baltics.
The Minister of Defence also met, within the framework of IDEX, with representatives from Hanwha Techwin, manufacturer of the K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer, and globally recognised defence industry undertakings such as Raytheon, L3 Technologies, Kongsberg, Rockwell Collins, and Advanced Electronics Company, one of Saudi Arabia's largest companies.
Estonian Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna met the Dutch Minister of Defence, Ms Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, to discuss European defence spending and the Estonian priorities for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Netherlands is an important partner to Estonia in the realm of defence procurements. "In 2014 Estonia signed a contract to procure 44 Infantry Fighting Vehicles CV90 from the Netherlands. The first 14 vehicles arrived in Estonia already at the end of last year and will already take part in the Estonian Independence Day parade on 24 February" said minister Tsahkna.
Tsahkna thanked minister Plasschaert for the Netherlands’ contribution to the Baltic Air Policing mission and invited Dutch airmen to conduct air policing and training from Ämari. The Netherlands is currently conducting air policing from Lithuania using the F-16 fighter aircraft, but is gradually shifting to F-35 fighters.
The Netherlands is a good partner to Estonia on issues of security and defence. "Our bilateral defence cooperation with the Netherlands is close, but procurement programs and joint operations have brought us even closer," added Tsahkna. Another great example of defence cooperation is both countries’ participation in the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF).
The ministers discussed also the Estonian priorities for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, among which the raising of defence spending among European Union nations has an important place. The Netherlands has already shared their experiences from their Presidency and are ready to support Estonia during the upcoming Presidency.
The defence expenditures of European Allies was one of the main topics during NATO Defence Ministers’ meeting, as well as during the Munich Security Conference. The Netherlands has confirmed their readiness to raise defence spending. "Estonia and the Netherlands agree that Europe must do more in the field of defence", mentioned Tsahkna.
NATO Allies agreed at the Wales Summit in 2014 that they will raise their defence expenditures to 2% of GDP.
The 55th Munich Security Conference was held on 17-19 February.
Välisminister Sven Mikser osaleb pühapäevani toimuval iga-aastasel kõrgetasemelisel julgeolekukonverentsil Münchenis, mis sel aastal keskendub Lääne rolli ja maailmakorra tuleviku teemadele.
Täna esineb minister julgeolekukonverentsi noorte liidrite programmis osalejatele ettekandega Eesti välispoliitikast ning kohtub ÜRO Palestiina pagulaste abiorganisatsiooniga UNRWA. Laupäeval kohtub Mikser Makedoonia välisministri Nikola Poposkiga, kellega arutatakse Makedoonia ja Euroopa Liidu suhete ning Lääne-Balkani teemadel.
Julgeolekukonverentsil arutatakse muu hulgas Euroopa Liidu ja NATO asendit muutuvas maailmas, populismi ja radikalismi esiletõusu, USA ja Euroopa suhteid ning jätkuvalt pingelist olukorda Lähis-Idas.
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Late last night at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Minister of Defence Margus Tshakna discussed the deployment of NATO combat groups in NATO border countries with his colleagues.
“The objective of moving NATO combat groups to border countries is to maintain peace and stability across the whole of NATO’s territory," said Minister of Defence Tsahkna. “The deployment of combat groups is taking place according to plan. “The command element for the United Kingdom’s combat group is already in Estonia, with tanks and infantry fighting vehicles arriving in April.”
The core member of the NATO international battalion arriving in Estonia is the United Kingdom, with Canada serving as the core member in Latvia, Germany in Lithuania, and the United States in Poland.
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna is participating in a two day meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.
At the Permanent Representation of Estonia to NATO, at NATO Headquarters, in Brussels, Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna, along with Latvian Minister of Defence Raimonds Bergmanis and Lithuanian Minister of Defence Raimundas Karobilis, signed a joint communiqué for the faster and simpler movement of NATO Allied Forces within Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
“The purpose of the joint communiqué is to achieve the legal capability by June to receive NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) within 24 hours and prepositioned units within 48 hours,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna. “Bureaucracy and the borders of member countries should not hinder the readiness and fast movement of NATO Allied Forces”.
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna is participating in a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels.