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Luik: Estonia wants to move forward with EU defence cooperation
Jüri Luik and Federica Mogherini in Tallinnas
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, who met today with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, one of the important topics during Estonia’s upcoming Presidency of the European Council will be tangible solutions in the area of European Union defence cooperation.
‘During its presidency, Estonia wishes to assist in developing a defence policy for the European Union that is credible and covered by resources', said Minister of Defence Jüri Luik. ‘EU defence cooperation has gained momentum and Estonia supports the efforts being made – it is exciting to witness the birth of something new.’
The Minister of Defence added that it is crucial that regular and realistic training would be achieved to ensure EU’s ability to act in crisis. Estonia will demonstrate the possibility for this in September, with holding a table top exercise on cyber during the EU Defence Ministers’ informal meeting in Tallinn.
During Estonia’s presidency, decisions are expected to be reached on how EU Member States will be able to better develop their defence capabilities and how the EU and NATO could enhance cooperation. Also expected are the solutions to make the existing EU Battle Groups work.
‘At the last Council, Member States reached the decision that the financing of European Union Battle Groups must be shared, so that their deployment, when necessary, would be possible. This common funding model must be reached during Estonia's presidency’, said Jüri Luik.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Jonatan Vseviov, who is continuing with his visit to the United States, met at the Pentagon with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood, and U.S. Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper.
The Russian Federation has deployed the Iskander missile systems to Kaliningrad several times in recent years, always redeploying them after military exercises. The movement of the Iskander systems is thus not surprising, although these steps could lead to the permanent deployment of the systems in Kaliningrad.