PRIME MINISTERS’ COUNCIL OF THE BALTIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
The Prime Ministers have agreed to the following statement regarding the upcoming NATO Summit on 14 June 2021 in Brussels. The Summit will be a crucial moment for Allies to reiterate NATO’s unity and strengthen the transatlantic bond, to take stock of progress achieved in making NATO more capable and to give guidance for NATO’s future.
We, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania:
Emphasize that NATO is and will remain the cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security and the most successful political-military Alliance with collective defence, enshrined in Article 5, as its most important core task. NATO is the principal forum for its members to discuss security. NATO rests on unity, solidarity, and common values of its members.
Expect the Summit to give a clear and strong assessment on the threat posed by Russia and further adapt NATO’s response. Russia seeks to destabilize NATO and undermine the security of NATO Allies and partners. Russia’s military posture, its conventional and nuclear capabilities threaten the Euro-Atlantic security. Russia also systematically engages in carrying out illegal operations on Alliance territory, in malign and dangerous cyber activities, disseminating disinformation, interfering in elections, and exploiting divisions within democratic societies.
Welcome the Concept for Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic area that together with the development of critical military capabilities will form the foundation for the Alliance’s modernized deterrence and defence posture to address Russia’s aggressive military posture and behaviour.
Anticipate that during the upcoming Summit Allies will commit to strengthening and modernising NATO’s Force Structure, to meet the collective defence requirements to respond to any crisis and conflict.
Reiterate commitment to increase defence spending and allocate at least 2% of GDP for defence. Emphasized the need for long term Allied commitment to full implementation of the Defence Investment Pledge, NATO capability development targets, contribution to NATO’s increased readiness forces and expressed support to the initiative to increase NATO common funding for collective defence efforts.
Highlight the critical importance of continued Allied military presence in the Baltic states as an integral part of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in the region, commend NATO Allies for their continued contribution to enhanced Forward Presence and Baltic Air Policing and stress the need to ensure viable reinforcement strategy.
Affirm our commitment to a strong NATO-EU strategic partnership and to NATO’s “Open Door” policy.
Support strengthening NATO’s Resilience Commitment as national resilience is a vital enabler of NATO’s collective defence mission. We recognise that resilience is a national responsibility, support the idea of setting a minimum standard of resilience based on seven baseline requirements and are ready to integrate them in the national strategies and action plans.
Welcome the Secretary General’s proposal to update the Strategic Concept.
Underline the importance of further strengthening Baltic defence cooperation in capability development and encourage regional projects such as possible common acquisition of Multiple Launch Rocket System to ensure interoperability and cost-effective use of resources dedicated to defence and to strengthen our security on NATO’s Eastern flank.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia
Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia
Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania
Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, 7 June 2021