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President Ilves at foreign policy discussion in Davos: main topic of security discussions is currently how to raise NATO's deterrence level further


Today, at a foreign policy lunch hosted by the Wall Street Journal at the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves talked to US Foreign Secretary John Kerry, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter and various other heads of government and executives of large corporations.

Among other things, they also discussed security in Europe. "Last year nothing but deepened and consolidated the allies' sense of a threat, because the security situation around us has become even more unpredictable. We are surprised of many developments and must be able to draw the right conclusions," said President Ilves.

He formulated one of the most important security questions for 2016: "As a result, the main topic of security discussions in this year will be not whether but how to further raise NATO's deterrence level."

At the discussion, the global economic situation was described as worrying. In addition to geopolitical instability, the refugee crisis has come to the forefront of the risks affecting economic growth.

"In the second half of last year, the European Union made some important decisions. Now, the focus of our action is on implementing the decisions. This means, first of all, better establishment of control over the acceptance of refugees and tighter control of the external borders," said the Estonian head of state.

He reminded that when Europe coped in a much more complicated situation following World War II, when Europe was in ruins, at loggerheads and there were 12 million internally displaced persons in Germany alone plus another 12 million consisting of people who had been put in forced-labour camps, prisoners and displaced persons, we will manage to act decisively together today as well.

"The European Union needs the courage to act together and courageous decision-makers," emphasised President Ilves.

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