Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 93

The defense ministers of Germany, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — the Baltic Sea countries that are members or aspiring members of NATO — discussed at a meeting in Denmark joint measures to enhance regional security. Three major programs were mapped out, each of them to be coordinated by one NATO member country and one aspiring country. Estonia will be the main base for the planned Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian naval squadron Baltron; Latvia — for the BaltBat peacekeeping battalion of the same three countries; and Lithuania will host the planned BaltNet airspace surveillance system. These programs will be supervised by Germany, Denmark, and Norway, respectively. German defense minister Volker Ruehe reportedly described the programs as intended to prepare Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to fulfill assistance obligations in crisis situations involving NATO partner countries — a criterion for admission to the alliance. Ruehe is considered a more consistent advocate of NATO’s enlargement than are other members of the German government. (BNS, May 9-10)

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