Expansion of the Alliance was decided upon at NATO summit
Bucharest, 3 April. At the NATO summit that began yesterday evening and continued today in Bucharest, a clear potential was given to Georgia and Ukraine to join the Alliance. This means that NATO will intensively work at a high political level towards providing a membership action plan for Georgia and Ukraine.
The progress of the two countries will first be evaluated in December at the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, who were also granted the right to make the final decision.
According to Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, it is positive that a forward-looking compromise was achieved with respect to the expansion of NATO. According to Ansip, the perspective to join NATO has become a great source of motivation for many countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans for developing statehood, conducting defence reforms and providing general security. What was decided today is a clear signal that the doors of NATO are, and will continue to be, open, said Ansip. In his words, the expansion of NATO helps to increase security, stability and democracy.
According to Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia welcomes inviting Croatia and Albania to join. All technical and political criteria have been fulfilled in these two countries. With respect to the joining of Macedonia, a decision in principle was taken to invite the country to join the Alliance as soon as the issue of the name of the country is solved. Membership will be palpable after the resolution of the issue of dispute, and hopefully an agreement will be reached soon, said Paet, adding that a new summit for discussing Macedonias membership will not be necessary.
For the first time, the topic of cyber defence was raised at the head of state level. The recently adopted cyber defence policy determines the principles for the protection of the information systems of the Alliance, the establishment of cyber security related standards for NATO and the helping of allies in case of cyber attacks.
The long-term approach with respect to the Afghanistan operation was approved. The adoption of the Afghanistan strategy confirms the long-term commitment of the Alliance and thus provides better prerequisites for the success of the NATO operation, said Jaak Aaviksoo, Minister of Defence.