Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) on Friday attended a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, where his colleagues reaffirmed the importance of transatlantic relations.
Ahead of the upcoming NATO summit, the meeting focused on relations with Russia, the situation in Afghanistan, projecting stability in NATO’s southern neighborhood as well as the alliance’s open door policy.
“We prepared for the NATO summit taking place in July,” Mikser said. “I am delighted that the newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended the meeting and we had the opportunity to emphasize the importance of the transatlantic alliance together.”
NATO’s relations with Russia were discussed at the beginning of the meeting. “We do not foresee any changes in relations with Russia,” Mikser said. “As long as disagreements with Russia on Ukraine and the security of Europe remain, all cooperation in the framework of the NATO-Russia Council is suspended.”
Foreign ministers also reaffirmed NATO’s long-term commitment to Afghanistan, including support for finding a lasting political solution.
During the discussion on challenges stemming from NATO’s southern neighborhood, Mikser stressed that close EU-NATO cooperation is necessary to ensure stability in the region.
He also emphasized that continuing NATO’s open door policy will help to strengthen security as well as promote welfare and the rule of law. “The accession perspective provides an important impetus for implementing reforms and contributes to the strengthening of democracy, the rule of law and common values,” the Estonian minister added.