NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

19 Jan. 201220 Jan. 2012

NATO Secretary General praises Estonia’s commitment to Smart Defence

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Estonia on 19-20 January 2012 and met with President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet. The Secretary General also visited the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn and met with Minister of Defence Mart Laar.

During the visit, the Secretary General delivered a speech at the University of Talinn  in which he praised Estonia’s approach in building defence while facing an economic crisis.

Mr Rasmussen stressed that maintaining an adequate level of defence speding remains essential for to show Allies stay serious about security in an age of austerity and uncertainty. That is why, he said, "I particularly value the Estonian government's decision to increase its defence spending to 2 percent of GDP this year. This is a significant achievement, and a most welcome commitment. And it sets an excellent example."

The Secretary General stressed that Estonia and  its  Baltic neighbours are taking innovative approaches and making valuable contributions to NATO.“You used the economic crisis as an opportunity to implement substantial defence reforms.  By streamlining your military structures and making them more efficient, you were able to make substantial savings”, the Secretary General said.  “You have used these savings to invest in higher priorities - in operational needs and in more useable capabilities.  And that is one important lesson for the Alliance more widely.”

During the visit, the Secretary General also discussed preparations for the Alliance’s upcoming summit meeting in Chicago and thanked President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and his government for Estonia’s valuable contributions to the Alliance’s operations. One of the main issues at the Chicago summit will be the concept of Smart Defence, through which Allies increase the effectiveness of their defence spending by a greater emphasis on prioritisation, specialisation and cooperation."The Baltic Allies show that if nations cannot spend more, they can spend better," the Secretary General said, identifying Smart Defence as a future "guiding principle for our Alliance."

Last updated: 20-Jan-2012 15:58

Natochannel.tv

High resolution photos

NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) welcomed by colonel Peeter Hoppe outside of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (center) and Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Colonel Ilmar Tamm (right) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left), Minister of Defence of Estonia Mart Laar (center) and Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Colonel Ilmar Tamm (right) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 Bilateral meeting between NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Minister of Defence of Estonia Mart Laar 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right), Minister of Defence Mart Laar (left) and Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, Colonel Ilmar Tamm (center) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and Minister of Defence of Estonia Mart Laar (left) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) with Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia (right) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) with Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia (left) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) with Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia (left) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Paet (right) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Paet (right) admiring the view 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 19. Jan. 2012 Bilateral meeting between NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (left) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Paet (right) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 20. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves (left) 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 20. Jan. 2012 Bilateral meeting between NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves 
NATO Secretary General visits Estonia 20. Jan. 2012 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (right) and President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves (left)