U.S. Sec­re­tary of State wants a di­a­logue with Rus­sia from power po­si­tions

The Baltic Times - - BALTIC NEWS - BNS/TBS Staff

Di­a­logue with Rus­sia must be held from a po­si­tion of power, and there must be no ac­cept­ing of vi­o­la­tions of in­ter­na­tional law, Es­to­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Sven Mikser told re­porters af­ter a meet­ing of NATO for­eign min­is­ters in Brussels last Fri­day, March 31, cit­ing words said at the meet­ing by U.S. Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son.

“Tiller­son said it out clearly that we must not ac­cept vi­o­la­tion of in­ter­na­tional law and fail­ure to meet one’s obli­ga­tions un­der treaties, and should hold a di­a­logue with Rus­sia from a po­si­tion of power,” Mikser said.

The Es­to­nian Min­is­ter said that NATO must main­tain a suf­fi­cient de­ter­rence pos­ture that is un­am­bigu­ous, clear and un­der­stand­able, and talk to Rus­sia with a clear voice and from a com­mon po­si­tion.

Mikser said in his re­sponse to a ques­tion from ERR, that the main mes­sage from this meet­ing was that there are no grounds for the kind of fears that were caused by some ut­ter­ances of U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dur­ing the elec­toral cam­paign. The United States con­tin­ues to be com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing the se­cu­rity of Europe, he said.

Mikser said there are no ma­jor dif­fer­ences be­tween the de­fense and se­cu­rity pol­icy of the present and the for­mer U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Al­lies ex­pect to get a state­ment sim­i­lar to those made by Tiller­son on Fri­day, from Trump at a May 25 sum­mit and by U.S. Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence in Fe­bru­ary, he added.

There are no dif­fer­ences be­tween the Euro­pean Mem­ber States of NATO on that de­fense spend­ing needs to be in­creased, Mikser said.

“Im­ple­men­ta­tion of this is more dif­fi­cult. Some al­lies are mak­ing faster progress than oth­ers. It is true that the bur­den of the U.S. has been too big, but fair shar­ing of the bur­den is not an in­ven­tion of Trump. That was em­pha­sized also by the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion,” he said.

The min­is­ter said Es­to­nia en­cour­ages all al­lies to raise de­fense spend­ing to 2 per cent of GDP. Com­ment­ing on the ob­jec­tions of the for­eign min­is­ter of Ger­many, he said that an ac­tive de­bate on this sub­ject is go­ing on in Ger­many, and the De­fense Min­is­ter of Ger­many, Ur­sula von der Leyen, has been more op­ti­mistic than For­eign Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel.

Speak­ing of ter­ror­ism, the Es­to­nian min­is­ter said that the al­lies ex­pressed their readi­ness to in­crease their in­put, such as to train­ing of the Iraqi se­cu­rity forces. “We must also think out of the box to bring sta­bil­ity to the ar­eas freed from ISIS and avoid the rise of sim­i­lar or­ga­ni­za­tions in the fu­ture,” Mikser said.

The dis­cus­sion on Rus­sia’s mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity in Europe was also at­tended by the EU For­eign Pol­icy Chief Federica Mogherini, Swedish For­eign Min­is­ter Mar­got Wall­strom and Fin­land’s For­eign Min­is­ter Timo Soini.

“Fin­land and Swe­den have been par­tic­u­larly close part­ners to the al­liance for years and ma­jor contributors to op­er­a­tions,” Mikser said. “It is a pleas­ant tra­di­tion that with cer­tain reg­u­lar­ity they are brought in to take part in these dis­cus­sions, es­pe­cially when the top­ics have to do with their se­cu­rity too. Rus­sia’s grow­ing ag­gres­sive­ness and am­bi­tions are such a topic.”

The Es­to­nian min­is­ter said that Rus­sia’s ac­tions pro­vide grounds for strength­en­ing the NATO de­ter­rent pos­ture and this is un­der­stood also in Stock­holm and in Helsinki.

Es­to­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Sven Mikser

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.