Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) along with his Baltic counterparts met with U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. They discussed the upcoming NATO summit and the security situation in Europe, and specifically in the Baltic region.
Mikser stressed that Estonia is interested in the further development of NATO’s collective defence, and to strengthen the alliance’s deterrent. “We also consider it important that the burden is shared fairly, and we hope that the NATO member states all make it to 2 percent GDP investment in their national defence as soon as possible,” the minister added.
Talking about security in the Baltic region, the foreign ministers of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia stressed the importance of the U.S. presence in their region.
“The Baltic states and the United States share an understanding of the current security situation, and our alliance is strong. I’m certain that it will remain this way,” Mikser said.
The West’s stance towards Russia was also discussed in the meeting with Bolton. “We need to remain united and determined in our dealings with Russia,” Mikser said. “This is the only way to deal with the danger Russia might pose in the future.”
Commenting on the current state of relationships with Iran, Mikser said that the most important thing is not to lose sight of the main objective, which is a nuclear weapons-free Iran.
Mikser will remain in New York on Thursday to attend an open debate in the UN Security Council. The debate’s topic is the role of international law in efforts to maintain peace and security, and it is lead by Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Mikser to ERR: Disagreements regarding Iran mustn’t affect transatlantic security cooperation
In a comment to ERR on Wednesday, Mikser added that the ministers’ meeting with Bolton had mainly revolved around security in the Baltic region. International affairs, such as the American withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal framework, weren’t discussed to the same extent.
“The Europeans as well as the Americans find that Iran needs to be kept from becoming a nuclear power, and that Iran’s negative influence on its region needs to be limited, no matter whether we’re talking about Syria, Yemen, Iraq, or Lebanon,” Mikser said. “In terms of the main aim we all agree, but how to get there, that’s where there are significant differences of opinion.”
Mikser stressed that though the Iran nuclear deal will play a role in the future, it is nonetheless important to make sure that the issue won’t affect transatlantic security cooperation, and NATO in terms of decisions to be made at the alliance’s upcoming Brussels summit.