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President urges higher defense spending amid Ukraine conflict

  • 2014-07-23
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Eastern European nations must take defense seriously and increase spending, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at a meeting of the region's leaders in Warsaw.

The leaders of the Baltic states, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary met on Tuesday to discuss Russia and the Ukraine crisis ahead of the September NATO summit, Public Broadcasting reports.

“The September NATO summit must give out a strong signal that we are able to react to the increased danger and guarantee security for people,” Ilves said, adding that the Ukraine crisis has become a long-term source of danger to the whole world.

“Russia is unpredictable and aggressive, shifting focus to the defense of NATO members, and to collective defense."

President Ilves also met his Polish and Slovakian counterparts in bilateral meetings.