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Joint Statement of the Prime Ministers of the Baltic States

Date

2022 04 22

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JOINT STATEMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTERS OF THE BALTIC STATES

We, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, met in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.  We call on Russia to immediately cease its aggression, withdraw its troops from the whole territory of Ukraine and to fully comply with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, and to uphold human rights. We condemn the barbaric actions by Russia leading to the loss of innocent human lives, including women and children. Every life lost is a tragedy.  Abduction, detention, torture, sexual assaults and indiscriminate killings cannot and will not be tolerated and forgotten. We will shoulder international efforts to record the testimonies of Ukrainians in order to document and investigate the war crimes and eventually bring those responsible to justice.

We stand united in support of Ukraine, its government and brave Ukrainian people. We reaffirm our unwavering support to Ukraine´s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. Ukraine is on the frontline of fight for all of Europe and values we share. We will continue providing political, financial, humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine. We urge our allies and partners to continue to do the same. Swift delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine is essential for winning the war and securing peace in Europe. The future of Ukraine lies in the European Union. We recognize a clear European perspective for Ukraine with a view of granting the EU candidate country status.

Russian aggression challenges whole Euro-Atlantic security. Unity, solidarity, and cohesion, reinforced through the unique transatlantic bond remain the cornerstone of security and stability on the continent. In light of Russia’s war in Ukraine we commend the indispensable and complementary effort of NATO and EU to fortify Europe’s security architecture. NATO remains the foundation of our collective defence and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions. NATO is a defensive Alliance and will continue to strive for peace, security and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic.

At the upcoming NATO Summit in Madrid, we will seek to endorse the next NATO Strategic Concept and to significantly strengthen the long-term NATO deterrence and defence posture, and NATO’s Eastern Flank. To deny opportunity for any aggression, a modern forward defence posture in the Baltic States is necessary. It would require more sizable in-place forces in land, air and sea domains. Permanent allied force presence in the Baltic States should build around three combat ready divisions, with one division for each of the Baltic States, assigned for a collective defence operation and able to integrate national home defence forces. Each allocated division should include a forward deployed combat ready Allied brigade with necessary enablers built upon strengthened eFP BGs. We are committed to continuously increase national defence budgets to at least 2,5% of GDP. Additional funding will facilitate more rapid capability build-up in most critical areas, including for common Baltic projects. 

We will continue to work together to enhance the security of our countries. Joint efforts in the area of capability building, defence planning and training ensure our preparedness and ability to defend the Baltics, if and when necessary. We will continue to cooperate in procurement of Multi-Launch-Rocket-Systems (MLRS) and to explore other options for more coordinated efforts in the area of capability building. Together we will ensure that arrangements are in place to enable joint procedures to provide military and non-military assistance to each other or several of the Baltic States upon their request. Together we will reduce opportunities for the adversary to exploit gaps in our defence system either in peacetime, crisis or conflict.

We also face a multitude of under the threshold threats, namely, hybrid threats, such as cyberattacks, information manipulation campaigns, foreign interference, intelligence operations, lawfare and economic pressuring. Our adversaries use these tactics to try to divide our societies and weaken our resolve. We must be ready for all types of threats and will therefore work individually, collectively and through NATO-EU cooperation to solidify our resilience and ability to prevent for and recover from any type of attack, be it kinetic or non-kinetic.

Each nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements free from outside interference. NATO's door should remain open. The importance of further strengthening cooperation with like-minded partners such as Finland and Sweden, with whom we share the same challenges and threat assessment, will remain our priority work strand.

Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia

Krišjānis Kariņš, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia

Ingrida Šimonytė, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania