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Salm: The contribution of the United States to the security of the Baltic Republics is unwavering

20. October 2021 - 15:21

During his visit to the United States, Kusti Salm, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, met in Washington with Mara Karlin, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense; Jessica Lewis, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs; National Cyber Director Chris Inglis; officials from the Senate and House of Representatives; and Major General Timothy Gowen, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard.

The meetings focused on the security situation in the Baltic region and included a discussion on ways to strengthen the deterrence and defence posture. The promotion of bilateral cooperation between Estonia and the United States of America, including in the field of cyber defence and opportunities for joint training exercises, was also addressed. The discussions included the topics of hybrid operations in the Baltic region – initiated by Belarus to place pressure on the European Union and NATO – as well as the joint strategic large-scale training exercise Zapad 2021, held between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in September.

‘The continued involvement of the United States in the security of Europe is crucial. In order to strengthen the regional deterrence and defence posture, we must develop a common understanding of crisis recognition, improve interoperability, and harmonise defence plans. The apparent involvement of the Americans in the security of the Baltic region is the greatest deterrence for our main security threat, the Russian Federation,’ said Permanent Secretary Salm during a meeting with Mara Karlin, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense.

In addition to the meetings, Kusti Salm also participated in an Atlantic Council roundtable on the topic of the joint training exercise Zapad 2021, conducted between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus and directed towards the west, and its aftermath. At the round table, Salm noted that Zapad is not a separate one-off event; instead, the activities of the Russian Federation must be assessed with a long-term view, in which the developments that have taken place are not directed solely against the Baltic region, but against the entire value system of the western world, thereby weakening the whole of Europe.

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaitseministeerium_mod_estonia/albums/72157719421633126

Additional information: press@kaitseministeerium.ee