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NATO and Russia Initiated Joint Excess Ammunition Disposal Project in Kaliningrad

09.12.2013

At the NATO-Russia Council foreign ministers’ meeting, a joint project was initiated to dispose of excess ammunition in the Kaliningrad oblast. The aim of the undertaking is to reduce the risks that are associated with the storage of excess aging ammunition.

“The project is an opportunity to strengthen practical cooperation between the alliance and Russia. Thus far, cooperation in Afghanistan and fighting against the spread of terrorism, piracy, and drugs has significantly strengthened both NATO and Russian security,” said Foreign Minister Paet. A joint statement was also made at the meeting supporting the UN-led operation to destroy the chemical weapons in Syria. However, the Estonian foreign minister expressed concern regarding the security situation in Syria: “Although the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria has been successful thus far, the humanitarian situation in the country is constantly worsening. Additionally, the conflict is having a negative effect on regional security and therefore needs to reach a peaceful solution very soon.”

Although positive steps have been taken on the level of practical cooperation, Foreign Minister Paet said that even more effort is required to develop the partnership.

“Estonia’s resolute position is that increased reciprocal transparency, and therefore trust, would greatly benefit NATO-Russia relations. For example, during its large military exercise Steadfast Jazz, which took place in November, NATO offered Russia opportunities to increase transparency. But confidence-building measures must be reciprocal and we expect greater transparency from Russia during its exercises as well,” emphasised Paet. “Also, the utilisation of transponders by Russian fighter planes in the Baltic Sea airspace would be one step that would increase both security and trust,” added the foreign minister.

The NATO-Russia Council was created in 2002 with the objective of strengthening political ties. Regular working level, ministerial and Heads of State and Government meetings are held in the framework of the Council.

 

More info:
Marko Koplimaa
Permanent Representation of Estonia to NATO
+32 472 95 05 10

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