Tallinn, 17 September 2022 (TDI): The Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer conducted a country visit to Estonia from 14 September to 16 September ahead of the annual NATO Military Conference.

Also read: NATO BALTOPS 22 underway in Baltic region

During the visit, the NATO Military Committee Chair Admiral Rob Bauer met with President Alar Karis, Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur, and Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Martin Herem.

Partnership between NATO and Estonia

Admiral Bauer with Lieutenant General Herem discussed the current security situation and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Admiral Bauer stated, “We are facing a new strategic reality, one that demands we be readier and more able than ever before.

At the Summit in Madrid, Allied Heads of State and Government took steps to ensure that our deterrence and defence posture remains credible and effective so that we can continue to protect all our Allies, including Estonia.”

Furthermore, with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Admiral Bauer discussed Estonia’s capacity for innovation notably in the digital sphere.

Admiral Bauer said that “Estonia is a highly resilient Ally and a frontrunner in developing cyber capabilities. It hosts the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence and the CR14 foundation, which organises the NATO Cyber Range – a platform for cyber exercises and training.

Moreover, as of 2023, Estonia, in cooperation with the UK, will establish DIANA’s European headquarters – further enabling NATO’s ability to prepare for the future.”

In addition, at Tallinn’s Freedom Square, Admiral Bauer took a moment to pay tribute to the Fallen Heroes by placing a flower at the base of the War of Independence Victory.

He said, “As I stand here today I am reminded of the Estonians’ enduring spirit, their willingness to stand up against oppression and the sacrifices they have made in the name of peace, freedom and democracy. Together, we will continue to fiercely protect and defend these common values.”

With Commander of the Estonian Defence League Riho Ăśhtegi, Admiral Bauer praised the organization for its services to the country’s crisis-related resilience.

Admiral Bauer praised the members of the Estonian National Defence Committee during the discussion with them for their steadfast dedication to Estonia’s defence and its position within the Alliance.

Lastly, he said that “Estonia leads by example when it comes to Defence Spending, by not just meeting the 2% target but by making plans to exceed it. You are enabling your leadership with the opportunities to increase your national defence. A stronger Estonia means a stronger NATO.”

Admiral Bauer also joined President Karis for the formal start of the NATO Military Committee Conference 2022 on Friday.