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Hanso at international economic forum: cross-border security issues have brought the Allies closer together

8. September 2016 - 15:28

Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso spoke today at the Economic Forum in Krynica, Poland, stating that common values and topical security issues serve to bring the Allies closer together, and that there continues to be a strong consensus in NATO that the Alliance’s borders and territory should be protected with the combined force of all Members.

The atmosphere of consensus following the NATO Warsaw Summit “shows that the 28 Member States, who each have their own specific security related obligations, can sit together behind a single table and really understand each other and support each other,” said Hanso. “Outside NATO’s borders are threats emanating from many directions. We understand the concerns of all of our Allies and stand with them. This means, among other things, that Estonia does its part, contributing to security within the limits of its ability.”

During the panel “What Connects and Separates Us – Security Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe”, at the Economic Forum in Krynica, the Minister of Defence highlighted Poland’s role in ensuring the security of our region.

“Poland and Estonia understand each other completely when it comes to questions of security, this also concerns the presence of Allies in our region as well as matters relating to Russia and Ukraine,” said Hanso. “There are questions where concessions cannot be made; Estonia and Poland both support continuing sanctions against Russia until the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been restored.”

“Poland, as a militarily powerful large country situated between the Baltic region and Central Europe, has a particular role to play in ensuring the security of our Allies,” said Hanso. “One dimension is Poland’s geostrategic location – the Suwalki Gap is the only land connection between the Baltic States and other NATO Member States. On the other hand, Poland plays an important political role as part of the Visegrad Group and more broadly in Europe.”

Within the framework of the conference Minister of Defence Hanso participated in a panel discussion along with Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of National Defence for Poland; Zsolt Nemeth, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament; Petro Koci, Deputy Minister of Defence for Albania; and Sebastian Huluban, State Advisor for Defence and National Security affairs at the Office of the Romanian President.

The Krynica Economic Forum has been organised since 1991. It is one of the most important events in the region concerning economic and political discussions, with heads of state, politicians and leading researchers and entrepreneurs also participating.

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