Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu welcomes the prompt increase in the military presence of the US, NATO’s largest member state, in the Baltic region.
“While consulting and analysing with the United States the security situation in Europe, which has changed due to Russian Federation’s acts of aggression against Ukraine, I asked for the strengthening of air policing in our air space,” said Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu. “I am truly glad that Estonia’s most important ally has positively responded to this request so promptly.”
Defence Minister Reinsalu says that NATO’s concept of deterrence is flexible and adaptable based on the security situation. “The Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine has changed the security situation and therefore it is logical that air policing will be strengthened. The North Atlantic Council will also consider other possible deterrence options,” added the Defence Minister.
Sending six additional fighters and two air-to-air refuelling planes to the Baltic Sea region will improve NATO’s air-policing capability by providing greater flexibility and scope to NATO’s air-policing operations. As of today, the air-policing operations in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be performed by ten US F-15 fighters and two KC-135 air-to-air refuelling planes.
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Stenbock House, 5 March 2014 – Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is leaving for Brussels today to participate in the extraordinary meeting of heads of state or government of the EU concerning Ukraine on 6 March.President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy called the leaders of the EU to an extraordinary meeting to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine and on ways to solve the situation.
According to the schedule, the summit will begin at 11:30 local time and will last until 3pm.
Prime Minister Ansip will return to Estonia late on Thursday.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, and Evelin Ilves will today board a flight for a visit to Japan. Japan, a member of G7 and Estonia's close ally in Asia, is our important economic and business partner. The main goals of the long-planned visit of the Estonian Head of State include top-level discussions about security and economic policies, the promotion of information and communication technology as well as the cyber sphere and enhancing business contacts between the two countries.
Last evening, the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, discussed Russia's military activities in Ukraine with the Vice President of the United States of America, Joe Biden.
Estonian Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu, Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vējonis and Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas held a phone conversation today in which they discussed current events in Ukraine and information sharing on an on-going basis. Defence Minister Reinsalu said that the defence ministers of the three states jointly denounced the invasion and occupation of the territory of Ukraine by Russia.
“Under the present circumstances, it is essential that the Baltic states consult each other on security matters and cooperate closely,” said Reinsalu.
In their phone conversation, the ministers stressed the need for additional coordination and information sharing between the general staffs of the defence forces.
The Commanders-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were also present at the conversation.
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"Invasion and de facto occupation by Russia are taking place on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. Russia's military activities or threatening with military activities are influencing the security of Europe in general," stated the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who had asked for an extraordinary summoning of the National Defence Council in light of the crisis in Ukraine.
The National Defence Council will hold an extraordinary meeting today, summoned by the President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, to discuss the continued increase in military tensions initiated by Russia in Ukraine.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who congratulated the Baltic Defence College on its 15th anniversary, invited Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to contribute more to national defence.
On 19 February 2014, H.E. Mr. Constantine Catsambis, the Ambassador of Greece to Estonia, paid a visit to Minister Helir-Valdor Seeder.The most important issues discussed were the following:The informal meeting of the ministers of agriculture and fisheries in Athens on 5–6 May 2014.The priorities of the Greek Presidency: economic and monetary affairs; fighting unemployment, especially youth unemployment; immigration and border control; maritime policy; EU enlargement.The priorities of Greece for the Multiannual Financial Framework.Development cooperation.Trade between Estonia and Greece.
Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu said at a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the Baltic Defence College that the College, as a crown jewel of Baltic cooperation, serves as an excellent example of the smart defence approach.
Reinsalu stated that the Baltic Defence College plays an important role in securing the independence and the national defence capability of a small country like Estonia. “It is the everyday work of the College in educating our officers and civil servants that has made it possible for us to be relevant and forward-looking in our defence,” said the Defence Minister.
“Moreover, the College itself is the best example of the international cooperation and smart defence. It is one of the best examples of the co-operation between the Baltic countries, I would even call it the crown jewel of the Baltic cooperation.,” Reinsalu said.
There was also a conference held in Tartu today to mark the 15th anniversary of the College, which focused on the challenges in military higher education and on the integration of military colleges with academic civil education.
The Baltic Defence College is the only institution in Continental Europe that provides education for staff officers in English and specializes in the security issues of small and medium-size countries. The College was established in 1999 by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with contributing states – Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, the UK and the US.
To date, the College has developed into an international education and research institution of regional importance; it provides training for senior officers for their service in joint staffs and at the level of higher command staff and organizes courses for higher civil servants. The study programmes of the College focus on the analysis of military conflicts and on the planning of joint operations as well as on the forecasting of future trends. Around 1000 senior officers and civil servants from 39 countries have graduated from the College.
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