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Foreign Minister Kaljurand stressed the need for cooperation to ensure regional security at the Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers meeting

04.09.2015

At the Nordic and Baltic countries (NB8) Foreign Ministers' meeting in Copenhagen, Foreign Minister Kaljurand stressed the importance of intensifying political and defence cooperation in the changed security environment.

The Foreign Ministers of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Lithuania and Latvia jointly condemned the kidnapping of Eston Kohver, the verdict and his continued illegal detention. The Foreign Ministers called on Russia to fulfil its international obligations, to immediately release Eston Kohver and ensure his safe return to Estonia.

Regional defence cooperation has been increasing in importance Kaljurand said, since threats to Europe originating from the south and east are affecting the Nordic and Baltic countries. “Russia's continued aggression in Ukraine, instability and violent extremism in other crisis areas, and the consequent migratory pressures from the south are all challenges to European security,” the Foreign Minister said. “In tackling these security challenges, NATO is of key importance in guaranteeing our security, but the solidarity and intensified cooperation of the Nordic and Baltic countries also has a great role to play,” she added.

While discussing the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s continued aggression, the Foreign Ministers emphasized the importance of implementing the Minsk agreements. “Since Russia is not fulfilling its international obligations, we must continue with the European Union's united policy, including sanctions,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand added.

The Foreign Ministers stressed the importance of the activities of the OSCE special mission in Ukraine, and expressed concern over the increase in violence against observers. “Observers must be ensured security and freedom of movement, so that they can contribute to the restoration of peace and stability in Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Kaljurand added.

The migration crisis and the various options with which to adequately respond were discussed thoroughly by the Foreign Ministers. On the topic of migration pressures from Europe's southern neighbourhood, Foreign Minister Kaljurand emphasized the need to pay more attention to the root causes of the situation in non-member countries. “It is important to contribute to the improvement of the political and humanitarian situation, as well as to the restoration of stability in the refugees’ countries of origin and transit areas. Similarly, the EU must cooperate with the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean in the fight against trafficking networks,” the Foreign Minister added.

The Nordic and Baltic Foreign Ministers also discussed cooperation in the field of strategic communications and cyber security, energy security, the situation in Greece and climate issues.

At the invitation of the Denmark’s Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen, the Nordic-Baltic cooperation meeting in Copenhagen was attended by Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand, Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, Iceland's Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brendel, Latvia’s Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs and Lithuania’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nerijus Germanas.

This year, Denmark is coordinating Nordic-Baltic cooperation (Nordic-Baltic 8, NB8); Latvia will take over in 2016.

Photos from the meeting: https://goo.gl/JkRrfe

The Foreign Ministers’ joint statements: http://t.co/R4fGJrG3yi ja http://t.co/A5tTW3EIZe

 

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