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Estonia Anticipates Key Decisions at Washington Summit to Bolster NATO and Support Ukraine

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Tallinn, Estonia, July 8, 2024 — As the Washington Summit approaches, Estonia is looking forward to pivotal decisions that will enhance NATO’s defense and deterrence capabilities and secure long-term support for Ukraine. The anticipated outcomes of the summit are expected to reinforce the alliance’s commitment to collective security amidst ongoing geopolitical tensions.

According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Estonia prioritises at the NATO summit in Washington strengthening NATO’s defence and deterrence, including increasing defence spending, keeping the Russian threat at the centre of NATO’s priorities, and providing long-term support for Ukraine.

“We are celebrating the 75th anniversary of NATO in Washington, and this gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved but also to commit to strengthening our security further. At the Washington summit, we need to make bold decisions that will guarantee long-term security for our people and the Euro-Atlantic region,” stated Kallas.

The Prime Minister also emphasised that decisions concerning Ukraine made at the Washington summit must help ensure victory for Ukraine and pave its way to joining NATO.

“Ukraine needs long-term military aid from NATO in order to win. At the summit, we hope to approve a strong support package of the allies for Ukraine. During the summit, we must also confirm in words and deeds that Ukraine’s path to NATO is irreversible,” she remarked.

According to Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur NATO is and remains the cornerstone of our collective defence.

“Madrid and Vilnius Summits resulted in landmark decisions – approval of forward defence posture as well as new defence plans, according to which all allies are defended from the very first centimetre. Member states, including European countries, have increased their defence spending and are developing new capabilities and forces. At the same time, it is clear that Russia has also significantly stepped up the development of its military capabilities. Our defence needs are high and Ukraine requires our support, and for this reason, the upcoming summit should send a message of prioritising the development of critical capabilities. This means that countries should focus on acquiring ammunition and creating critical capabilities like long range fires and air defence in an expedited manner in the next five years. This in turn also suggests that we must open discussions with the allies regarding whether 2% is a sufficient minimum or perhaps it should be increased to 2.5–3%,” said the Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur.

In addition to the meeting of the North Atlantic Council, there will be a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Council during the Summit to express the unity of NATO in continued long-term political and practical support for Ukraine. Another topic on the agenda of the meeting is the cooperation of NATO with its strategic partners in Asia and the Pacific region – Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea – as well as the European Union. A summit declaration and a joint statement of the NATO-Ukraine Council are also going to be adopted.

On 10 July, Prime Minister Kallas is going to speak at the NATO Public Forum along with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Czech President Petr Pavel, and the U.S. senator James Risch. The focus of the discussion is the strengthening of the transatlantic bond. Live broadcast of the discussion starting at 11.00 a.m.

On 9 July, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence will attend the celebration of the 75th anniversary of NATO, hosted by the President of USA Joe Biden and the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg.

In addition, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is going to have several bilateral meetings during the Summit.

On 8 July, the Minister of Defence is going to join a podcast together with the former Director of the CIA Leon Panetta, Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs, and former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

On 9 July, the Minister of Defence is taking part in a roundtable with Latvian and Lithuanian ministers of defence, organised by Politico and Die Welt, has a meeting with the press, attends NATO Defence Industry Forum, and joins the meeting of the ministers of defence of NATO hosted by the Warsaw Security Forum.

On 10 July, the Minister of Defence is going to take part in the meeting of NATO ministers of defence hosted by the US Secretary of Defence, in addition to the sessions of the summit.

On 11 July, the Minister of Defence will participate in the discussion on AI and cyber defence at the NATO Public Forum.

Editor: Gabriel Ani

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