At the two-day meeting of the national defence committees of the parliaments of the Baltic States, the Nordic Countries and Poland in Tallinn, defence cooperation and current regional security issues will be discussed.
On Monday the members of the national defence committees of the parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Poland visited Ämari Air Base and met with the Commander of the Defence Forces of Estonia Lieutenant General Riho Terras.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Marko Mihkelson emphasised that especially during the last years, the defence cooperation between the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States had become more meaningful. “The changed security situation in Europe forces the countries of the region to cooperate more closely, even though all Nordic Countries are not members of NATO,” Mihkelson said, and added that in present times the exchange of information at the level of the members of parliaments is of great importance.
On Tuesday, the Security and Defence Forum will be held in the Conference Hall of the Riigikogu, where Senior Researcher of the International Centre for Defence Studies Pauli Järvenpää will present an overview of the regional defence cooperation and Deputy Undersecretary for Defence Policy of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov will speak of changes in the defence policy. Senior Researcher of the International Centre for Defence Studies Erik Männik will in his report try to find an answer to the question how to understand Russia, and Commander of the Defence League Meelis Kiili will speak about voluntary national defence organisation.
The defence cooperation of the ministries of defence and armed forces of the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States has been taking place since 2003, both in the form of strategic discussions and practical cooperation. For example, the Nordic Battle Group is in readiness also this year, the Nordic Countries are sending lecturers and students to the Baltic Defence College, and the reform of the security sector in Ukraine, Georgia and the Balkans is supported within the framework of the Nordic-Baltic Initiative.
The annual parliamentary meetings of the Baltic States started in 1998 in Lithuania. Since 2011, the delegations of the parliaments of the Nordic Countries and Poland also participate in these meetings. This year the meeting is held in Estonia, next year in Denmark and in 2017 in Norway.
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