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Hanso to colleagues from the United Kingdom: Estonia’s security policy will not change
Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso met in Canada with Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom Michael Fallon, with whom he discussed the security situation around the world, developments in the United States following the presidential election, and the prepositioning of NATO combat groups in the Alliance’s border countries.
“I confirmed to my good colleague from the United Kingdom that there will be no change in the Estonian government’s foreign and security policy, regardless of which parties are currently part of our governing coalition in Estonia,” said Minister of Defence Hanso. “We still have a lot of work left to do in increasing the presence of NATO in NATO border countries.”
According to Minister of Defence Hanso, the deployment of the, United Kingdom led, NATO Allied Forces heavy battalion combat group to Estonia is currently on schedule, even though there is much work left to be done. Estonia and the United Kingdom are both fulfilling the defence expenditure level agreed upon within NATO. “We both agreed that other NATO member countries must also raise their level of defence expenditures,” stated Minister of Defence Hanso.
Minister of Defence Hanso is participating in the influential Halifax International Security Forum, in Canada. On Thursday, Minister of Defence Hanso spoke at the roundtable of ministers of defence on the topic of UN peace keeping innovation, which was led by Minister of National Defence of Canada Harjit Sajjan.
In addition to his presentations at the influential Halifax International Security Conference, Hanso is planning to meet with a delegation from the United States Senate, led by Senator John McCain, and the French defence minister.
This summer, the allies will be carrying out large-scale training exercises on the Baltic Sea. The United States will be leading the annual international Baltic region training exercise BALTOPS, while the United Kingdom will be leading the deployment exercise Baltic Protector.