TALLINN - Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets, her Lithuanian colleague Gabrielius Landsbergis and Latvia's Deputy Foreign Minister Zanda Kalnina-Lukash met on Thursday with the foreign minister of Canada, Melanie Joly, in Quebec to discuss security issues of Europe, Russia's war in Ukraine, the fight against disinformation and bilateral relations.
The foreign ministers also visited the Valcartier military base together with Canada's minister of defense, Anita Anand.
Liimets said at the meeting that the war in Ukraine has shown that Russia's attitude towards its neighbors and long-term strategic interests have not changed, which is why it is important to strengthen NATO and its eastern flank.
"The war in Ukraine affects us all. It affects our people and our security. That is why it is important that the decisions to be taken at the NATO summit at the end of June also translate into a clear stance to strengthen the defense of the eastern flank," Liimets said according to spokespeople.
The foreign minister added that the contribution of Estonian allies, such as Canada, to the collective defense of the Baltic region is important and Estonia highly appreciates it.
"The security of the Baltic states is actually both European and transatlantic security," she emphasized.
"In the ongoing war, the unity of the West and its support for democratic principles and Ukraine is critical. At the same time, however, we can see an information war being waged against our unity and values. We must not allow Russian misinformation to divide our societies and unity, nor allow these hostile narratives to spread," Liimets said.
She recalled that just this week, the European Union reached an agreement on the sixth sanctions package, which includes a ban on several more Russian propaganda channels in the EU, and added that incitement to hatred has no place in international relations either.
Speaking about bilateral relations, Liimets emphasized the very good mutual understanding between Estonia and Canada, both in the fields of cyber security and digital cooperation, as well as in international organizations. The ministers also spoke about possibilities for developing economic relations, as well as the fields of culture and education.
On Friday, the foreign ministers of the Baltic states and Canada visited the Valcartier military base, where they met with Canadian soldiers who have served in the NATO battlegroup in Latvia.
On Saturday, Liimets will meet with members of the business community, representatives of the Estonian community in Toronto, formally open the new building of the Estonian embassy in Ottawa and participate in the Estonian Flag Day event at the embassy.