Estonian PM to participate in meeting of leaders of JEF nations in Gotland

  • 2023-10-12
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas will fly to Sweden on Thursday evening to participate in a meeting of the heads of state and government of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) on the island of Gotland on Friday.

On Thursday, Kallas will take part in a dinner hosted by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson for the leaders of the countries participating in the Nortdic-Baltic cooperation format NB8 and meet with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

The JEF is a coalition initiated and led by the UK, which also includes Estonia, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.

The JEF plays an important role in the deterrence and defense posture of the Baltic Sea region. In a crisis, the primary role of the JEF is rapid response at sea, on land and in the air in the Far North and Northern Europe, the capabilities for which are achieved by developing the interoperability of the defense forces of the participating countries.

This year, the focus of the JEF leaders is the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to appear at the meeting via video. The national leaders will also discuss the ability of JEF countries to jointly counter hybrid threats, including the need to enhance the protection of maritime infrastructure, as well as the role of the JEF as a format for defense cooperation that complements NATO. A joint statement will be adopted at the meeting.