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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Close Defence Co-operation of Nordic and Baltic Countries is Important Goal

15.01.2013

No 12-E

At his meeting with Swedish Minister of Defence Karin Enström during the Sälen security conference in Sweden, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the bilateral defence co-operation between Estonia and Sweden, which focuses on practical activities, is very successful. “Examples of this practical co-operation are participation in the European Union Nordic Battle Group, growing co-operation in defence procurements, participation in the work of the Baltic Defence College, and working together in the field of cyber defence,” Paet listed.

Paet noted that Estonia highly values Sweden’s work in the European Union Nordic Battle Group. “The Nordic Battle Group has been one of the best-prepared battle groups in the European Union,” stated the Estonian foreign minister. “Participation in European Union battle groups is and will remain one of Estonia’s national priorities in the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy,” he added.

Paet said that Estonia greatly appreciates Sweden’s support for the work of the Baltic Defence College. “It is very positive that a year ago Sweden once again decided to continue supporting the college,” he said.

The Estonian foreign minister said that Nordic-Baltic (NB8) defence co-operation is one of Estonia’s long-term strategic goals. “It will take years and must correspond to practical needs and reciprocal interests,” Paet noted.

In talking about co-operation in the area of cyber security, Paet recognised Sweden’s participation in the NATO Collective Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. “We have always encouraged the Nordic countries to participate in the work of the cyber defence centre, and Sweden has served as a very good example,” he added.

Paet emphasised that cyber defence should also be a major topic in the defence co-operation among the eight Nordic and Baltic countries. “Cyber security is essential for protecting our common political and economic space,” he stated.

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