17 May 2018 14:57

Estonian FM calls for containing Russia, reducing threat it poses

TALLINN. May 17 (Interfax) - Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser has called on Estonia's allies to remain firm and united in their attitude toward Russia.

"We must remain united in our policy toward Russia, and that includes the sanctions policy. That is the only way to deter threats from Russia," Mikser said at a meeting between the foreign ministers of the Baltic states and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Wednesday.

The participants in the meeting also focused on a NATO summit scheduled for July.

"The message of unity and strong transatlantic bond will be the key to a successful NATO Summit in July," Mikser said.

He emphasized Estonia's desire to promote NATO's collective defense and strengthen its deterrence posture, the Foreign Ministry said. "We also consider fair burden-sharing important and hope that all NATO countries will reach the goal of spending 2% of their annual GDP on defense as soon as possible," he said.

The Baltic foreign ministers highlighted the importance of the U.S.' permanent presence in the region. "The Baltic countries and the U.S. have a common understanding on today's security situation and our alliance is strong. I am confident that it will remain so. To follow up the U.S.-Baltic Summit we are proceeding with negotiations in order to stand up to present security threats collectively," Mikser said.

The parties also addressed the Iran nuclear deal. "The most important is to make sure not to lose sight of the main goal - an Iran free of nuclear weapons. This is our common transatlantic goal," Mikser said.