Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in Washington: together with the United States, we can ensure our security in both the physical world and in cyberspace

15.07.2021 | 13:32

Washington DC, 14 July 2021 – Yesterday and today, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas met with the Chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee and representatives of the House Baltic Caucus to ensure strong support from the US Congress for the security of our region.
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“Estonia highly appreciates the contribution of the United States to NATO as well as specifically to the security of our region. Defence cooperation with the United States is one of the main pillars of the security of Estonia. I am glad that cooperation is intensifying and the Baltic Security Initiative provides security for all countries in our region,” said Kallas. “Unfortunately, there are signs of danger in our neighbouring countries, including in how migration is used as a political weapon. In addition to the traditional threats, we must also pay attention to what is happening in the cyberspace. Attacks on vital infrastructure have become frequent and we can only face them together,” the prime minister added. The prime minister also emphasised the importance of joint action by the EU and the US, both in the field of security, including cyber security, but also in climate issues and in maintaining economic ties.

Yesterday, the prime minister met with Jack Reed, the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to talk about the security situation and defence policy. Today, Kallas met with Senator Chuck Grassley, who has been a founding member of the Senate Baltic Freedom Caucus since 1997 and has led the caucus for the past four years. The prime minister thanked Grassley for his role in representing the interests of the Baltic States and for his excellent cooperation.

Today, the prime minister also met with Congressmen Ruben Gallego and Don Bacon to talk about the Baltic Security Initiative. Under the leadership of Senator Grassley and members of the House of Representatives Gallego and Bacon, the Baltic Security Initiative was established last year, allocating 168.7 million US dollars to the Baltic States to strengthen their defence capabilities. Its further volume will be decided by the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee in the coming months.

At the meetings, Kallas also confirmed the firm policy of Estonia to keep defence expenditures at the level of two per cent of the GDP.

Kallas will shortly speak at the Atlantic Council on digital policy and international relations and introduce the Tallinn Digital Summit taking place in the autumn. The live broadcast is available here: https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/event/trusted-connectivity-securing-digital-infrastructure-in-an-era-of-strategic-competition-with-china/

Photos from the meeting: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWdeGZH

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