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Sweden, Finland NATO membership would increase Baltic security – Estonia – Metro US

Sweden, Finland NATO membership would increase Baltic security – Estonia

FILE PHOTO: Foreign Ministers of Germany, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania
FILE PHOTO: Foreign Ministers of Germany, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania meet in Riga

BERLIN (Reuters) – Sweden and Finland joining NATO would increase the security of the Baltic region, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said.

“When we see that in our neighbourhood also other democratic countries belong to NATO, it would mean that we could have broader joint exercises and also … more defence cooperation,” Liimets told Reuters in Berlin where she joined a meeting with other NATO counterparts on Saturday.

Liimets said she hoped Sweden, Finland and Turkey would overcome differences on the Nordic states joining the alliance, adding that the Berlin meeting atmosphere was very supportive.

“We have seen some differences, but we have also seen a willingness of those countries to overcome the differences,” she said.

Estonia appreciates NATO enforcing its presence in the Baltic region but would like the allies to move from enhancing their presence to enhancing their defence.

“It would mean that we would have more robust presence of land forces, but also air and maritime defence,” she added.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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