TALLINN - Summarizing the first day of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said that allies were monitoring events on NATO's borders with heightened attention.
All allies emphasized that both the hybrid attack organized by Belarus and the opaque actions by Russia in Ukraine and on Ukraine's borders were unacceptable. The ministers stressed that NATO would remain united, assess the impact of the situation on security in Europe and stand ready to defend all allies.
Allies consider the build-up of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders a clear threat to Ukraine and European security as a whole.
"Allies called on Russia to stop these actions immediately," Liimets said. The foreign ministers noted it was necessary to continue adapting the defense and deterrence posture of NATO's Eastern Flank.
"Now is the best time and chance to unify the views of allies on the security situation and challenges of NATO's Eastern Flank, which definitely includes the actions of Russia," she added. "We are grateful to the allies for their contribution to the security of the Baltic region. We must move forward from here and implement all the decisions made so far on the defense and deterrence posture, including on planning, reinforcement and modernizing the military structure."
The ministers of the alliance regretted the fact that Russia has closed all diplomatic channels with NATO, even though constructive dialogue with Russia is particularly needed now. NATO remains open to dialogue.
Another important topic under discussion was the hostile actions by Belarusian authorities on its borders with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
"Brutal manipulation with lives, attempts to divide and discredit NATO and the European Union -- this needs an unequivocal response and NATO stands behind allies who are under the greatest pressure," the minister said.
The ministers are also discussing the future of NATO, including NATO's next strategic concept.