TALLINN - The chiefs of staff of the defense forces of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania discussed issues concerning the defense cooperation between Baltic countries and the further development of that cooperation at a two-day meeting held in Tallinn.
Topics discussed during a meeting of the military committee of the three countries that took place on the level of the chiefs of staff included cooperation between the three countries' defense forces and various branches of them, further development of the three countries' joint air surveillance and management system Baltnet, contribution on foreign operations, joint exercises and the activity of the Baltic Defense College, spokespeople at the headquarters of the Estonian defense forces said. The meeting took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"The purpose of such meetings is primarily to raise common situational awareness of the situation, but we also deal with very practical issues -- be it the development of Baltnet, but also issues concerning operational or capability development. This is not simply exchange of information, but we are trying to understand how we could best protect our countries and region both at present and in the future," chief of staff of the Estonian defense forces, Brig. Gen. Veiko-Vello Palm, said.
"In the framework of the meetings of the military committee, we can share our ideas and coordinate our countries' collective contribution to security and defense. At the moment, our weak point lies perhaps in joint defense procurement, but this is an area that we also discussed and we will certainly try to strengthen it in the future," chief of staff of the Latvian defense forces, Brig. Gen. Imants Ziedins, said.
"One of the most important outcomes of this meeting was, in particular, the exchange of information and coordination of regional needs and activities," chief of staff of the Lithuanian defense forces, Brig. Gen. Gintautas Zenkevicius, said, adding that this is important namely for the synchronization of NATO's operative planning.