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Estonia and Italy consider Europe’s joint response to security risks to be very important

05.05.2014

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasized at his meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini in Rome that recent events in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere in the vicinity of the European Union clearly reveal the European Union’s unified and strong security policy which is the only possibility and also highlight the importance of cooperation with the U.S. and other allies.

Therefore Russia must be kept away from further interference in Ukrainian affairs with the clear and unanimous position of the international community. “The situation in eastern Ukraine has become extremely tense. The imprisonment of OSCE observers, journalists and representatives of local authorities and the takeover of government agencies by separatists are totally unacceptable," Foreign Minister Paet said.

Paet said that Estonia supports sending an EU civilian mission to Ukraine, in order to provide support for the implementation of reforms in the areas of justice and security.

While speaking on the topic of the changed security situation in Europe, Paet emphasized the need to increase NATO's deterrence potential and its visibility in Eastern Europe. “We want to see the long-term and permanent NATO Baltic Air Policing mission using Ämari Air Base, as well as the presence of NATO ships and ground forces in the region,” he added.

Italy is scheduled to participate in Baltic Air Policing for the first time early next year.

Also discussed at the meeting was illegal immigration from Africa to Europe, which is a source of great pressure for southern EU member states.

Paet stated that Estonia is considering ways to participate in the Italian naval operation Mare Nostrum. Its purpose is to ensure the safety of people on the Mediterranean Sea and to control the wave of immigration off the coast of Italy.
The Estonian and Italian foreign ministers also discussed the latest developments in Syria. “The international community must do everything possible to persuade Syria to hold serious negotiations on the subject of a transitional government,” Paet emphasized. He added that in order to avoid further destabilisation of the region, it is important to support the countries accepting Syrian refugees. The complete destruction of chemical weapons is also of utmost importance.

Photo: https://twitter.com/FarnesinaPress/status/461163736745508864/photo/1.

 

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