You are here

DefMin Tsahkna to SecDef Mattis: work on improving the Baltic states defence will continue

11. May 2017 - 9:12


Today the U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis met with the Baltic states Defence Ministers in Vilnius. The Ministers discussed the Baltic states defence cooperation with the U.S. and NATO‘s activities in ensuring defence in the region.

“Estonia and the other Baltic states can always rely on the U.S. leadership in the transatlantic Alliance and military support. I offered my personal gratitude to Secretary Mattis for that”, said Defence Minister Margus Tsahkna.

The Ministers also discussed the regional security situation, including the large-scale Zapad exercise this fall. “We are fully in agreement that Russia‘s activities continue to be aggressive and we condemn it”, said Defence Minister Tsahkna.

James Mattis commended Estonia for the defence expenditure. “Estonia already spends 2,2% on defence, Latvia and Lithuania will reach 2% next year. In line with the Wales and Warsaw Summits, all NATO Allies need to fulfill their self-defence commitments,” mentioned Tsahkna.

Defence Minister Tsahkna confirmed that the work on improving the Baltic states defence will continue. “There are many additional military capabilities that we need, but are independently unable to procure and maintain. We know that in the maritime and air domain we can rely on our Allies”, said Tsahkna.

The US soldiers have for years trained with Estonia’s Scouts Battalion, conscripts and reservists. US fighter aircraft, even the most modern like F-22s and F-35s, visit the Ämari air base in Estonia and conduct combat training. US naval assets have a regular presence in the Baltic Sea.

Estonian Parliament is currently discussing the ratification of the Defence Cooperation Agreement with the US, in order to create even better conditions for the US military presence.

Subject related news

15.03.2019|Ministry of Defence

Commander of NATO units serving in Estonia awarded mission medal

Servicemen from the United Kingdom, who are serving in Estonia within the framework of the presence of NATO, received mission medals at the ceremony held at the Ministry of Defence. Among others, a mission medal was presented to Colonel Giles Harris, Commander of the eFP Command in Estonia, who has been serving in Estonia since the arrival of the allied units in the spring of 2017.

11.03.2019|Ministry of Defence

Headquarters Multinational Division North inaugurated in Latvia

Friday, Ministers of Defence from Estonia, Latvia and Denmark inaugurated Headquarters Multinational Division North, located at the Ādaži military camp, in Latvia. The purpose of Headquarters Multinational Division North is to enhance the defens capability of the region and connect the region’s forces with the Alliance’s highest Command Structure.