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European Iron Lady, Kaja Kallas To Attend Joint Expeditionary Forces Meeting In Sweden

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Stenbock House, 12 October 2023 – Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is flying to Sweden tonight to take part in the meeting of the heads of state and government of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) being held on the island of Gotland on Friday. The European Iron Lady, Kaja Kallas will tonight attend a dinner for the leaders of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) being hosted by Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson of Sweden and meet with President Sauli Niinistö of Finland.

The JEF is a cooperation format led by the United Kingdom which also involves Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. It plays an important role in the defence and deterrence posture of the Baltic Sea region. The primary role of the JEF in a crisis situation is to provide a rapid land, sea and air response in Northern Europe and the far north, which it achieves by fostering the cooperation capabilities of the defence forces in the participating countries.

The focus at this year’s meeting will be Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking via video link. The JEF leaders will also be discussing their countries’ capacity to collectively fight hybrid threats, including the need to reinforce the protection of maritime infrastructure, and the role of the JEF as an additional cooperation format to NATO. A joint statement will be agreed at the meeting.

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