Renewed: 12.03.2004, 12:00
Government Communication Unit, 19 June 1998
June 19, 1998.
Prime Minister Siimann met today at Toompea with Javier Solana, NATO's General Secretary. Solana assured Siimann that NATO is open to Estonia.
"Our goal is an open Europe and, accordingly, its principal institutions
must be open also," said Solana, expressing NATO's message to the Baltic
Siimann said that the basic aim of Estonia's security policies is to become a NATO member.
"We believe that the enlargement process is continuous and we wait for the results of the Washington summit meeting," he said. Siimann added that Estonia does not only wait, but works at being NATO's worthy partner.
According to the Prime Minister, the Government plans to increase defense
appropriations in the next year's budget.
"Our major emphasis is on schooling of officers and conformity of weapons to NATO standards." Siimann said that when he visited yesterday the Tallinn Garrison, he was left with a positive impression of Estonia's military situation.
Solana thanked the Estonian Government and people for their contribution
to peace keeping in Bosnia. Solana said that Estonia can get closer to
NATO most effectively by increasing its military cooperation with other
"The basic problem is not that you should have purchases of the latest technologically complicated weapons, but that you develop your capacity for cooperation, language, association and leadership," said the NATO General Secretary.
Siimann and Solana talked about the subject of Russia, also. Siimann
gave an overview of Estonian-Russian relations and Solana talked about
NATO-Russian relations. Solana said that it is not possible to build a
security structure for the twenty-first century that excludes Russia. He
stated that NATO's goal is to have constructive and good relations with
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