January 17, 2017
It’s a real honor and pleasure to be here this morning. First of all, I’d like to compliment you and the excellent team of colleagues you have at the ministry for the way we were able to work together in finalizing this next step in our defense cooperation.
Today’s signing of a bilateral defense cooperation agreement between the United States and Estonia is a major step for enhanced defense and security cooperation in the context of the North Atlantic Alliance.
The agreement provides the legal framework and foundation for bilateral defense and security cooperation and enables a broad range of defense-related activities between us that will serve to enhance the U.S. – Estonia security partnership for years to come.
The agreement builds on the current NATO Status of Forces Agreement and outlines specific protections for U.S. troop presence in Estonia.
It also provides the necessary provisions and authorities for U.S. personnel to conduct activities within and from Estonia − as mutually agreed − to strengthen regional security in the Nordic-Baltic region.