Yesterday, Minister of Defence of Estonia, Kalle Laanet met with Lithuanian Minister of Defence, Arvydas Anušauskas, at the Tapa military camp, to discuss defence-related co-operation between the Baltic countries, the situation having developed on Ukraine’s borders, and the Russian exercise Zapad 2021, which is set to take place in the Baltic Sea region in the autumn.
Close defence co-operation between the Baltic States serves as the cornerstone for strengthening the region. By acting together, we are sending a clear message to our Allies and the aggressor that we must be viewed as a whole,’ said Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet.
The defence ministers also discussed the situation resulting from the concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders. ‘We must actively monitor Russia’s activities and continue to support Ukraine,’ said Minister of Defence Laanet. The ministers noted that during the Russian exercise Zapad 2021 – set to take place in August and September – co-operation must be increased between the three Baltic countries in terms of maintaining and raising situational awareness, as well as in assessing the defence and deterrence posture and, if necessary, being prepared to quickly makes changes to them. ‘We are monitoring the situation with great concern, both on the Ukrainian border and within the framework of the Zapad 21 exercise, and we are exchanging information with Lithuania and our other Allies,’ Laanet added.
Lithuanian Minister of Defence Arvydas Anušauskas was on a one-day visit to Estonia, during which he inspected the training facilities at the Tapa military camp and the Central Training Area of the Defence Forces. Lithuania is presiding over Baltic Defence Cooperation in 2021, having set co-operation in capability development with the Baltic States and their Allies as a priority of its presidency.
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