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Security and Defence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Security and Defence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Recommendation 745 on security and defence in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Report (Document A/1861) submitted on behalf of the Defence Committee by Mr Rigoni, Rapporteur (Italy, Federated Group) and Mr Sedlickas, co-Rapporteur (Lithuania). Source: WEU, Paris, June 2, 2004.

      The Assembly,

  1. Noting with satisfaction that the accession of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to NATO and the European Union completes the process of integrating those countries, along with the other central European countries, in the Euro-Atlantic community, while maintaining a spirit of constructive cooperation and partnership with all the neighbouring states;

  2. Considering that this historic event closes a painful chapter in the history of those three states;

  3. Recalling the pioneering role played by WEU, which was the first European organisation to welcome the three Baltic States, first of all to its consultation forum and then as WEU associate partners, with the prospect of their accession and with a view to preparing them for integration in the European Union;

  4. Warmly welcoming the constructive contribution and commitment of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the activities of WEU, and in particular the participation of their parliamentary delegations in the work of the Assembly;

  5. Recognising also the constructive efforts made by the three Baltic States with a view to strengthening cooperation among the Nordic countries and establishing a policy of partnership and good neighbourly relations in this region;

  6. Expressing support for continuing the process of reform necessary for adapting the security and defence structures of the three Baltic States to the new missions resulting from their NATO and EU membership;

  7. Stressing the individual and collective efforts being made by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the area of security and defence, in order to respond to the new challenges to national, European and international security;

  8. Stressing the remarkable contributions that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are making to European and international security and stability, particularly in the peacekeeping area, through the presence of their military units in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and other crisis areas;

  9. Underlining the qualitative and quantitative contribution the three countries are making to the NATO forces, in particular the NATO Response Force (NRF), and to the European Union's headline goal;

  10. Encouraging the three states to pursue and deepen their cooperation in areas of common interest, in particular as regards armaments and naval and airborne capabilities;

  11. Stressing the importance for the other European member states of NATO and/or the EU to continue to support and assist the three countries with their projects in the area of security and defence;

  12. Supporting the decision of the North Atlantic Council to deploy NATO air-based capabilities to Lithuania in order to provide surveillance and protection of the three countries' common airspace;

  13. Confident that there will be a successful conclusion to the dialogue being conducted between NATO and Russia with a view to convincing the latter that those air surveillance measures are not detrimental to its security interests;

  14. Stressing, nevertheless, that the security interests and requirements of the three Baltic States, as members of the Alliance, are inseparable from those of the other member states and that there cannot be a security guarantee with variable geometry;

  15. Welcoming the readiness in principle of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to accede to the CFE Treaty on the reduction of conventional forces in Europe as revised in 1999, once it has been ratified by all the signatories and enters into force;

  16. Highlighting the important role to be played by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in framing NATO and EU strategies and policies and for establishing relations with all new neighbours of those Organisations, in particular Russia, Ukraine and Belarus;

  17. Stressing also that it is important for the enlarged European Union and NATO to find, together with Russia, solutions to all the specific problems concerning the Kaliningrad region that are satisfactory to all interested parties;

  18. Supporting the continued process of political, economic and social reform designed to modernise and strengthen democracy and the rule of law in the three Baltic States;

  19. Considering that it is important in this context for the three Baltic States to pursue their policy of integrating minorities and of acquiring the legal, human and material resources needed to combat the threat posed by organised crime and criminal activities with international ramifications;

  20. Recalling that the three Baltic States now satisfy the criteria defined by the WEU member states during the signing of the Maastricht Treaty for being invited to accede to WEU under conditions to be agreed in compliance with Article XI of the modified Brussels Treaty;

  21. Considering that those three states have a legitimate interest in benefiting from the security guarantee of the modified Brussels Treaty establishing a link with NATO, particularly in view of the weak nature of the provisions contained in the draft EU Constitutional Treaty with regard to a mutual assistance obligation,

      RECOMMENDS that the Council

    Apply to the letter the "Declaration of the WEU on the Role of Western European Union and its Relations with the European Union and with the Atlantic Alliance" adopted in Maastricht on 10 December 1991, as well as the provisions on "relations between WEU and the other European member states of the European Union or the Atlantic Alliance" that figure in the Petersberg Declaration of 19 June 1992, and that it invite Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to open negotiations with a view to acceding to the modified Brussels Treaty under conditions to be agreed in compliance with Article XI of that Treaty.




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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).