Brussels, Belgium, 12 July 2018 – On the second day of the NATO summit a working session with the Georgian and Ukrainian heads of state took place, focusing on partners’ defence reforms and cooperation with NATO. In the other working session, the security situation in Afghanistan was discussed. Also defence expenditures were under discussion today.
This year marks 10 years from the Bucharest Summit, where allies assured that Georgia will become a member of the alliance in the future. The Russian aggression against Georgia took place also 10 ago years ago.
“Estonia stands firmly behind Georgia, the most advanced partner of NATO, and will never recognize the occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” said Prime Minister Ratas. “Also, Estonia continues to stand by the non-recognition policy of the annexation of Crimea and to disapprove the aggression in Eastern Ukraine. We encourage Ukraine to continue reforming their country and to focus on Euro-Atlantic integration.”
Also the topic of increasing NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions was discussed. Estonia expressed its support for political processes that would include all parties and result in peace and stability in Afghanistan. From June 2018, Estonia contributes to the Afghanistan training, advising, and assisting mission with 40 members of the Defence Forces and will continue to support the development cooperation projects there.
In between working sessions allies discussed defence expenditure. “There is unity among allies regarding commitment´to NATO and increasing defence expenditures. Europe and Canada have increased in the past four years substantially their defence expenditure. We are moving towards the right direction,” said Ratas.
The Brussels Summit Declaration can be found on the NATO website: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_156624.htm
Photos from the NATO summit (constantly updated): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/l8vhkk1wgznhhpy/AABAiAIL_WyxFk7aC8yD9zNWa?dl=0
Additional information: Urmas Seaver, +372 5039907, press[at]riik[dot]ee.