RIGA - Defense cooperation between the Baltic states and Germany will surely increase, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told journalists in Riga on Monday.
The German minister noted that the Baltic states have always been good allies and military training exercises are essential for soldiers to test their skills. NATO's military exercises will always focus on defense, not attack, Pistorius stressed.
The minister also praised an umbrella agreement Latvia and Estonia have jointly signed with German company Diehl Defence on the purchase of the IRIS-T medium-range air defense system. As Pistorius underlined, the war in Ukraine has shown that air defense systems play an essential role. "This is a very important purchase between our countries," the minister said.
The war in Ukraine shows that we need to be united to confront an aggressor. "It is therefore very good that the Baltic states are particularly united," Pistorius added.
Asked about the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles to Ukraine, Pistorius said that Germany is currently discussing the option and that constructive talks between the countries are ongoing.
Pistorius also told reporters in Riga on Monday that cooperation between the Baltic states and Germany in the military field will definitely increase, and that German soldiers are already closely integrated in improving the Baltic security.
He also assured that an invasion of any of the Baltic states would be considered as an invasion of Germany.
It has already been reported that Pistorius is in Latvia on a visit to meet with senior Latvian officials to discuss regional security issues, the results of the recent meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group in Ramstein and further support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
In early September, the defense ministers of Latvia and Estonia signed a joint letter of intent with German Defense Minister Pistorius on their continued participation in the European Sky Shield Initiative, a project aimed at establishing integrated European air defense.
In the framework of the 2024 mission, German warplanes will also be deployed in Lielvarde to reinforce the Baltic airspace as part of the NATO-led air policing mission. This will be the first time that the mission will be deployed from Latvian territory.