NATO Secretary General thanks Estonia for supporting Allies and partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid to NATO headquarters on Wednesday (7 October 2020). He thanked Estonia for showing solidarity with Allies and partners throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, including by donating critical medical supplies to Italy and Spain and supporting NATO partners Georgia and Ukraine.
The Secretary General praised Estonia for its valuable contributions to the Alliance - providing troops to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, investing more than 2% of GDP in defence, and hosting important exercises. He welcomed that Estonia will virtually host Cyber Coalition, one of the largest cyber defence exercises in the world, next month.
The Secretary General stressed that the Alliance is fully committed to Estonia’s security: “Allied jets keep your skies safe. Allied ships patrol the Baltic Sea and NATO’s battlegroups in the region prevent conflict and preserve peace.”
The two leaders also addressed the situation in Belarus. Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that all NATO Allies support a sovereign and independent Belarus. “Both Minsk and Moscow should respect the right of the Belarusian people to determine their own future through an inclusive political dialogue,” he said. The Secretary General added that Allies regret the decision by Belarusian authorities to limit the diplomatic presence of NATO Allies in Minsk, which is unjustified. “Allies stand together in solidarity and we urge Minsk to reconsider its decision,” he said.
The Secretary General and President Kaljulaid also discussed the NATO 2030 reflection process to further strengthen NATO. “We must ensure that we remain strong militarily, become stronger politically, and take a more global approach to the challenges we face,” he noted.