Regional challenges in the light of the decisions implemented after the NATO Warsaw Summit and the security situation caused by Russia’s revisionism were discussed at the meeting of the Political Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held in the Conference Hall of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia).
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu and Head of the Estonian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Marko Mihkelson thanked the NATO member states on behalf of the Baltic States that NATO had taken ensuring the security of the region very seriously and contributed here in the name of credible deterrence.
Mihkelson emphasised that it was in the interests of Estonia to have predictable and good-neighbourly relations with our largest neighbour, but this would be possible only when Russia started to adhere to international law and the international commitments it had assumed.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee and member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Hannes Hanso said when speaking of the level of defence spending that two percent of GDP should not be a target for the member states, but a compulsory minimum.
Hanso spoke about the revisionist activities of Russia, and emphasised that international law should apply to everyone in the same way. “For democratic countries, it is important that the capability of military deterrence is preserved, but moral justice, freedoms, democracy, human rights, the values we should be guided by are at least of the same importance,” Hanso said. “When distancing yourself from the international law becomes a norm, it will have disastrous results to the countries that honour these values.”
Hanso pointed out that after the Warsaw Summit, several developments that had not been believed at first had taken place, and both Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the USA had become a reality. In Hanso’s opinion, it is very important that the NATO allies remained unified and continued to support Georgia, Ukraine and Montenegro on their path to NATO, which Russia tries to hinder.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov, Foreign Policy Adviser to the President Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, Director General of the Political Department, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paul Teesalu, Research Fellow of the International Centre for Defence and Security Kalev Stoicescu and Director of the Baltic Centre for Russian Studies Vladimir Yushkin presented reports at the meeting of the Political Committee.
Members of the Estonian delegation to the NATO PA Ants Laaneots and Oudekki Loone, and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas and Marko Šorin also attended the meeting of the Political Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
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