Defence Minister Laar: Nuclear Weapons Important for Maintaining NATO Unity
5 May (BNS)
Nuclear weapons have an important role in maintaining NATO unity, but the alliance's conventional deterrence capacity is equally important, Estonian Defence Minister Mart Laar said in his opening remarks at an international defence policy seminar in Tallinn.
Although the role of nuclear weapons in general security has diminished in the last two decades, they are important today in maintaining the unity of the alliance. Alongside a nuclear arsenal, the deterrent value of conventional weapons should not be forgotten in the present-day world, Laar stressed. "Conventional deterrence is sometimes needed nowadays. That is also the reason why the presence of U.S. armed forces in Europe is important," he said.
The ability to deter any foe is and will remain the cornerstone of NATO, Laar said, urging participants to constructively and openly discuss the alliance's deterrence policy in the rapidly changing international security environment.
The seminar that began in Tallinn on Thursday is the sixth in a series initiated in 2007 focusing on the challenges facing the United States and its NATO allies. It was organised jointly by NATO and U.S. agencies in co-operation with the Estonian Defence Ministry.
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