Defmins of Estonia, Greece discuss security situation

  • 2021-11-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet met on Tuesday with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos to discuss the security of the Baltic Sea region, developments related to the European Union and NATO and bilateral defense cooperation.

One of the most important topics discussed at the meeting was the situation on the Lithuanian and Polish borders in relation to the hybrid attack by Belarus and its direct impact on the security of the Baltic Sea region and the European Union.

Laanet said that Estonia supports NATO's 360-degree approach to security and takes seriously threats to Europe from both the East and the South.

"Unity is needed between allies now more than ever. Belarus weaponizing migration has clearly worsened the security situation in the entire region," Laanet said, adding that for that reason, the focus during the drafting of NATO's new strategic concept should be maintained on the deterrence and defense posture and collective defense. Laanet also attached great importance to the opportunity to discuss the development of bilateral defense cooperation with the Greek minister of defense.

"We share the same values, principles and notions of peace, security and stability in the Baltic and Balkan region," Panagiotopoulos said. "The developments in our neighboring region affect security and stability both in the region as well as in Europe. We need to firmly stand up to the weaponization of migrants on the Poland-Belarus border."

As part of his visit, the Greek defense minister will visit the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence and give a speech at the annual Baltic Conference on Defense on Nov. 10.

Next year, Estonia and Greece will celebrate the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.