TALLINN - The Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a Meeting of NATO ministers of defense in Brussels had a bilateral meeting with the Estonian Defense Minister Mart Laar, during which Rasmussen thanked Laar for Estonia’s contribution to NATO, reports LETA. As the Estonian Defense Ministry reports, Rasmussen acknowledged the way Estonia has fulfilled the duties it has taken on in NATO – it has increased its defense expenditures to 2 percent of gross domestic product and contributed to the Afghanistan mission.
When discussing the challenges facing NATO, both sides emphasized the importance of keeping their promises and promoting smart defense.
The prerequisite of the latter is to carry out jointly agreed upon programs such as ground surveillance capability, which will also be a separate topic at the meeting of NATO Defense Ministers.
In addition, Rasmussen supported the Baltic air policing mission, saying that it is a very good example of smart defense. The Secretary General hopes that this will be one of the topics at the Chicago summit.
Laar and Rasmussen also discussed issues related to cyber defense and the Estonian suggestions for moving forward in the field of cyber defense. Rasmussen acknowledged Estonia’s action in the field of cyber defense and considered it important to seriously discuss the suggestions Estonia has made.
According to the minister of defense, the message of the Secretary General of NATO, about finding a solution to the future of Baltic air policing, is very important for Estonia. “If we succeed in taking specific steps for our defense, it is a prerequisite for the provision of aid. Ensuring air policing gives us a better opportunity to deal with our primary defense capability. In this aspect, it is indeed a smart defense policy,” said Laar.