Estonian defmin speaks to US senators about new govt's security policy

  • 2016-11-20
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Meeting with a delegation of the US Senate in Canada on Nov. 19, Estonian Defense Minister Hannes Hanso spoke about European security circumstances and the two sides discussed security co-operation between the United States and Estonia.

"The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. John McCain, had many questions about the foreign and security policy course of our new government coalition," Hanso commented according to spokespeople for the Defense Ministry in Tallinn.

"I confirmed to the senators once again that the transatlantic link will be of key importance for the new government coalition and there will be no changes to security policy. On the contrary, the new government coalition will introduce a defense investment programme aimed at arming and equipping our defense forces to more contemporary standards and faster still," the defense minister of the outgoing Estonian government said.

Eight US senators and members of the Congress participated in the meeting with Estonia’s minister of defense.

"I believe that meetings with 11 members of the US Senate in just a few days speak for themselves," Hanso remarked. "Estonia and the United States are interested in the continuation of reciprocal activities and intense cooperation.”

Hanso had meetings with the senators on the sidelines of the influential Halifax International Security Forum held from Nov. 18 to 20. On Friday, Hanso discussed the Putin regime and Russia in the late evening panel of the conference.

Prior to the forum, Hanso met in Washington on Thursday with prominent senators from the Republican Party to talk over the global security situation and emphasise the essential function performed by NATO in safeguarding peace and security. Hanso also spoke with the senators about the significance of US military presence in Europe and noted that the Senate views US obligations to the alliance as being unshakeable.