Carter Meets With Estonia’s President, Prime Minister
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 Defense Secretary Ash Carter met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas in separate meetings in Tallinn, Estonia, yesterday, according to a Defense Department news release.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter, third from left, meets with Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, third from right, at the Stenbock House in Tallinn, Estonia, June 23, 2015. The two leaders met to discuss matters of mutual importance. Carter is traveling in Europe to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings with European defense ministers and to participate in his first NATO ministerial as defense secretary. DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
During the meetings, Carter emphasized the United States' ironclad commitment to Estonia's security under NATO's Article 5, the release said.
According to the release, this commitment includes plans to maintain a persistent rotational presence in all of the Baltic countries and to temporarily position armored vehicles and equipment in Estonia, as well as Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania to support training and exercises in Central and Eastern Europe.
Carter thanked Ilves and Rõivas for Estonia's long-term support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for meeting NATO's two percent defense funding goal, the release said. He also commended Estonia's leadership in the area of cyber defense and announced additional U.S. support to the Estonian-led NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence, the release said.