Estonian, US formins affirm strong allied relationship

  • 2022-02-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A joint statement was adopted at a meeting of Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington earlier this week, which emphasizes the close allied relations between the two countries and common positions on the security situation around Ukraine. 

"Estonia and the United States are close allies and share a strong partnership based on a common commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. We work closely together bilaterally, as NATO allies, through the US-EU relationship, and within international organizations like the OSCE and the UN to advance security, freedom, and prosperity in the Euro-Atlantic area and the world," the statement says.

Estonia and the United States recognize NATO as the foundation for allies' collective security and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among allies. They share an ironclad commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and support further strengthening of NATO's deterrence and defense.  

"We look forward to developing a new NATO Strategic Concept that provides a blueprint for the alliance's adaptation over the coming decade to address the full range of threats and challenges and commits adequate resources," the ministers said. 

The United States values Estonia's long-standing commitment to spending at least two percent of GDP on defense, as well as the Estonian government's recent decision to increase its defense spending further at this critical time. The United States continues its large-scale security assistance to support the further development of Estonian defense capabilities.  

Estonia and the United States consider the US role central to ensuring the region’s security, including through its support to NATO’s deterrence efforts on the eastern flank. To that end, Estonia and the United States plan to continue to consult regularly on the Baltic region's security.

The statement says Estonia and the United States share deep concern over the Russian Federation's unprovoked build-up of military forces in and around Ukraine and its dispatching of forces into Belarus. This represents a threat to peace and security in Europe.  

"We are united in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we remain committed to strengthening Ukraine's resilience and deterrence capabilities. Russia should take immediate steps to de-escalate the current crisis, pull back its military forces to their permanent bases, and commit to a diplomatic solution. Likewise, we call upon Belarus to abide by its international obligations, honor its OSCE and other international commitments, and refrain from further heightening tensions," the ministers said. 

The statement notes that Estonia and the United States stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the defense of our common values. Through the Summit for Democracy and the Year of Action, the countries are working to defend democracy and counter authoritarianism, combat corruption, and advance and protect human rights.

"During the Global Conference on Media Freedom in Tallinn, we pledged to continue our support to media freedom through the Media Freedom Coalition and other organizations. We also cooperate closely to build a digital future based on democratic values that upholds human rights and fundamental freedoms, and a rules-based international order," the statement says.