Today 30 November, Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets met with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in Tallinn to discuss the upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga, issues of European security, including Belarus and Ukraine, and international cyber and digital cooperation. The ministers visited the British troops serving in Tapa as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia.
The Estonian foreign minister thanked the United Kingdom for its contribution to the security of Europe and Estonia and spoke about the expectations for the upcoming meeting of NATO foreign ministers. “We consider it crucial to reaffirm the unity of NATO; we are expecting a strengthened defence and deterrence posture of the Alliance in our region and a quick agreement on helping Ukraine,” Foreign Minister Liimets said.
Foreign Minister Liimets stressed the need to support Ukraine in light of Russia’s military build-up on its borders. The ministers noted it was crucial to show political unity, provide economic and political support and help increase Ukraine’s resilience. “We must make sure that our message is crystal clear and works as a credible deterrence – a new attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial unity would definitely bring a strong and unequivocal response from the West.”
The foreign ministers of Estonia and United Kingdom emphasised that the Belarusian authorities are responsible for the tensions resulting from the hybrid attacks against the European Union on the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. “Our position is that Belarus must ensure the humane treatment of migrants brought to the European Union border, provide humanitarian aid to them and allow them to return to their home countries,” the foreign minister emphasised.
Foreign Minister Liimets also highlighted the close cooperation of Estonia and the United Kingdom in advancing technology and democracy. Early next year, Estonia is organising an international media freedom conference in Tallinn with the aim of protecting media freedom both in conventional and online media and supporting free press worldwide.