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Hanso: The United States and Estonia must defend common values

1. April 2016 - 15:40

At a roundtable discussion, held at the influential Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think-tank, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, and Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso together analysed the security situation in Europe and the balancing role played by the United States in maintaining peace and stability in Europe.

“The U.S. military presence in Europe has been of key importance since the end of World War II,” said Hanso. “The security situation in Europe and the entire world has become more fragile in the past few years. Accepting new security challenges alone is overwhelming for all countries. I am pleased that NATO’s most powerful political and military ally, the United States of America, has decided to decisively increase its military presence in Europe and is bringing back armoured brigades, in addition to already existing infantry brigades, as well as supplies, ammunition and armaments. Without a doubt, the military presence of the United States increases the security of Europe as a whole.“

According to Hanso, Estonia is a reliable ally that keeps its word and has always done its homework. Estonia is not only a consumer of security, but also a contributor to security. Estonia’s defence expenditures have remained at two per cent of gross domestic product and Estonia has consistently fulfilled Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which places the responsibility for maintaining military capability on the respective Member States of the Alliance.

“We share the same values that are so unique to the Western World, such as personal freedoms, freedom of speech, transparent government and democracy," said Hanso. “We must also be ready to stand together to defend the values shared by our peoples.“