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Pentus-Rosimannus thanked the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for the United States’ contribution to strengthening the security of our region

09.06.2015

Upon meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington yesterday, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus thanked the United States for its contribution to the security of our region and stressed that since the changes to the security situation due to Russia’s aggressive behaviour are long-term, the Allies’ counter measures must also be of a permanent nature. The Foreign Minister also confirmed that Estonia, in the role of host nation, will ensure the best possible support during the Allied presence.

“Estonia highly appreciates the Allies’ increased and visible presence and we will do our utmost to be prepared for dealing with threats. For example, the largest ever military exercise in Estonia, known as “Siil” – Hedgehog, was held recently and attended by 1% of the Estonian population,” the Estonian Foreign Minister said.

At the meeting, Blinken cited Estonia is an example for other NATO allied countries for maintaining the required level of 2% of the GDP.

Foreign Minister Pentus-Rosimannus confirmed Estonian public support for the U.S. presence and stressed the need for the setting up of long-term and continuous rotations in the Baltic countries. “We are grateful for the United States’ rapid response to the changed security situation. The visible Allied presence in the air, water and on land, has significantly contributed to Estonians' increased sense of security,” the Foreign Minister said.

Speaking on the subject of developments in Ukraine, Pentus-Rosimannus and Blinken agreed that sanctions imposed on Russia should be maintained until the Minsk agreements have been fulfilled and Ukraine has regained control over its eastern border. “Current developments in Eastern Ukraine unfortunately show that the ceasefire violations are becoming constant,” Pentus-Rosimannus said. “We have to be ready to increase economic sanctions in the event of an escalation.”

Touching upon the topic of energy, Pentus-Rosimannus highlighted the importance of diversification of energy sources, which in our region would be specifically helped by the development of necessary infrastructure and possible importing of liquid gas from the U.S. The Estonian Foreign Minister also emphasized the need to move forward with European Union-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) negotiations. “This is a strategically important agreement, which in addition to facilitating economic relations would also have very clear and broad political significance,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.

Pentus-Rosimannus also spoke at the meeting about the illegal detention of Eston Kohver by Russia which has now lasted nine months.

Photos from the meeting: https://www.flickr.com/photos/estonian-foreign-ministry/sets/72157653832...

 

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