Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson participated in a meeting of the Nordic-Baltic Foreign Ministers in Tallinn today.
The security situation in Europe was the main focus of the discussion among Ministers. Foreign Minister Sveinsson emphasized the importance of remaining firm on the core foreign policy principles of the NB8 countries; respect for international law, democratic development, human rights and rule of law. He said that solidarity among the Nordic-Baltic countries is solid and they remain concerned about Russia´s actions in Ukraine.
"With their actions in Ukraine the Government of Russia has created instability in Europe. International law has been seriously violated with the illegal annexation of Crimea and Russian policies are undermining stability on the entire European continent. The Baltic States have borders with Russia and want to enjoy friendly relations with Russian authorities, but they are gravely concerned about the current situation. We stand firmly with our neighbors in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and insist that their sovereignty is always fully respected," says Foreign Minister Sveinsson.
The Nordic-Baltic Ministers express their deepest concern about the 5 September 2014 incident where an Estonian police officer was abducted by Russian security services on Estonian territory. In a joint statement the Ministers call on Russia to immediately release the police officer and ensure his safe return to Estonia.
The outcome of the NATO summit in Wales was welcomed, where solidarity of Allies was clearly reiterated and a readiness action plan agreed, which provides for more rapid response and increased military presence in Eastern Europe. The importance of partner nations was underscored and Finland and Sweden reconfirmed their close cooperation with NATO, which enhances even further the security and defence relations among the Nordic-Baltic countries.
The Ministers discussed the surge of the ISIL terrorist-organisation, the threat it poses internationally and how the international community should respond to the appalling actions taken by ISIL. Furthermore, energy issues in Europe were discussed with focus on renewable energy development, energy security and how improved energy infrastructure can strengthen the European energy market.