Courtesy of the Baltic Course

December 22, 2015

NATO deterrence should extend to cyber space as well, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said at his meeting with Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, reports LETA/BNS.

Ives said that, for Central and East Europe, Poland together with Germany are security policy and economic leaders and close cooperation with them increases security for all and makes whole Europe stronger, the president’s office told BNS.

Close relations between Estonia and Poland are of importance both on the regional scale and within NATO and the European Union, the Estonian head of state said. “We are friends that can discuss all topics, no matter how difficult they are,” he added.

The refugee crisis has brought the EU to a crossroads and our future will be determined by which way we take – Estonia has chosen the path of solidarity and EU unity, Ilves said.

“We all have responsibility to Europe regardless of how long we have belonged to the European Union. Let us not divide ourselves into old and new members but let us measure one another by sense of responsibility,” he said. “Europe will always be faced with new challenges, we must have the readiness to tackle them together, like for instance more efficient protection and control of external borders of the EU now.”

The heads of state called the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw the most important security policy event of the decade that will solidify the alliance’s deterrence policy including long-term deployment of rotating allied units on the eastern flank. Ilves voiced the opinion that deterrence should extend to cyber space as well.

Ilves and Duda also spoke about the situation in Donetsk and Lugansk, where Russia’s military presence continues, and about the EU’s Eastern Partnership program which means continued support for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia provided those countries stay on the reform path.

The Estonian president spoke about regional security at a conference held in Warsaw by the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in cooperation with influential Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. Ilves has since last December been a member of the international advisory council of CEPA that focuses on Central and Eastern European studies.

Ilves also took part in an international memorial event titled “Sovereignty, Solidarity, Security: Lech Kaczynski and Central and Eastern Europe,” led by President Duda and held to recall the foreign policy contribution of the former president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, in the integration of eastern partners of the EU, securing the safety of our region and enhancing the influence of Central and Eastern European democracies.