Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology and acting Foreign Minister Andres Sutt attended the NATO summit in Madrid on 29 and 30 June. Discussions focused mostly on the changes in the European security environment brought on by Russia’s aggression and reinforcing NATO’s Eastern Flank.
NATO’s new Strategic Concept was endorsed at the summit, clearly highlighting Russia as the most significant security threat and the need for the Alliance to adapt to this new reality. There was complete consensus that NATO’s defence posture on its Eastern Flank needed to be strengthened considerably.
The accession process of Finland and Sweden also gained new momentum at the summit. “It is extremely positive that accession talks with Finland and Sweden can begin and we hope the process will not be protracted. However, Finland and Sweden are definitely not the last countries to join the Alliance. Both Ukraine and Georgia still have prospects of NATO membership, as was set out at the 2008 summit in Bucharest,” Minister Sutt said. An additional NATO support package for Ukraine was endorsed at the summit, which also included a statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and Allies said they would continue weapons deliveries to Ukraine. The minister emphasised that Estonia would offer Ukraine every support in their Euro-Atlantic integration ambitions.
An informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers with the foreign ministers of Mauritania and Jordan was held during the summit. Concentrating on the defence of the populations and territory of member states, NATO is addressing security threats based on a 360-degree approach. “Our security threats are interconnected and are becoming increasingly complicated. For example, in addition to causing suffering and destruction in Ukraine, Russia’s war has also caused a food crisis in the south,” Minister Sutt explained. “Estonia has always resolutely supported fighting terrorism. We are participating in several military operations of the Alliance, for example in Iraq and the Mediterranean.”
In Madrid, Minister Sutt also met with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly. Minister Sutt welcomed Canada’s decision to open an embassy in Estonia and recognised Canada for its contribution to collective defence in our region. Both ministers reiterated the need to boost support for Ukraine.