TALLINN - Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik and his Polish counterpart Mariusz Blaszczak during a video meeting on Tuesday discussed the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the domain of national defense and the topics of the NATO defense ministers meeting scheduled for next month.
The ministers stressed that despite the spread of the virus, the security threats have not changed. Therefore it is necessary to ensure the strength of NATO's deterrence posture and continue work towards increasing the readiness of NATO troops, they said according to spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Defense.
"The spread of the virus has not changed our geopolitical location or security threats, therefore no concessions can be made on defense expenditures, which embarked on a rise in Europe only in recent years, and maintaining them in terms of absolute value is important," said Luik. The Estonian minister said it's important for investments by NATO member states in defense to not decrease as a result of the crisis.
The ministers also discussed defense cooperation between Estonia and Poland.
"Poland is an important ally for Estonia, who shares a common security picture with us and actively contributes to NATO's deterrence and defense capability," Luik said.
The Estonian minister thanked Poland for its contribution to the NATO Baltic air policing mission.
Polish F-16 fighter jets for the first time ever guarded the Baltic airspace out of the Amari air base in Estonia from January to April this year. Previously Polish Air Force contingents have performed the same mission out of the Siauliai air base in Lithuania during seven rotations.