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Laanet: Russia’s large-scale training exercise Zapad 2021 is a provocation against the West

14. September 2021 - 15:12
Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers from the Baltic Republics and Poland met in Riga.
Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers from the Baltic Republics and Poland met in Riga.

Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers from the Baltic Republics and Poland met in Riga to discuss the security situation in the Baltic Sea region and matters of topical interest concerning NATO’s collective defence. According to Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet, the best way to ensure our security is through close cooperation with our neighbours and allies.

‘The oppressive non-transparent actions of the Russian Federation and Belarus in planning the large-scale training exercise Zapad 2021, and the triggering of a hybrid crisis on the Latvian-Lithuanian border, are a conscious desire to destabilise security in the Baltic Sea region and to fracture relations between allies within NATO and the European Union. Our cooperation with our Baltic and Polish neighbours is based on unity and solidarity, not on fear and manipulation,’ said Minister of Defence Laanet. ‘We ensure the security of the region by sharing information and acting together,’ he added.

The Ministers of Defence participated in the security discussion ‘A hot-cold summer of the Baltic Sea region’ organized by the Latvian NATO Association, the main topic of which was the hybrid attack in Belarus and the large-scale Zapad 2021 training exercise being held by the Russian Federation. The Defence Ministers jointly expressed the view that the provocative actions of the Russian and Belarusian regimes threatened the security of the region and confirmed that the cooperative relations based on the common values of the three Baltic Republics and Poland have only strengthened as a result.

The Ministers of Defence jointly visited the training exercise Silver Arrow, taking place at the Adaži training area, which is taking place from 3–17 September and is part of the Latvian large-scale training exercise Namejs 2021.

Kalle Laanet also met with members of the Estonian Defence Forces serving in NATO Headquarters Multinational Division North.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaitseministeerium_mod_estonia/albums/72157719844222977

Additional information: press@kaitseministeerium.ee