Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas on Tuesday discussed issues related to economic and security cooperation, including cyber security, between Estonia and the U.S. with a delegation of the U.S. Congress.
According to Ratas, the bilateral relationship between the two countries is strong. "The continued military contribution of the U.S. is important for the security of our region," Ratas said, adding that the military presence of the U.S. in Europe and the Baltic countries is and will remain important to Estonia, spokespeople for the government said.
The cooperation of Estonia and the U.S. in the field of cyber security is remarkably good, Ratas said. "Today's conflicts not only take place in the air, on land, and at sea, but also in the cyberspace and Estonia has a very practical experience with what a nationally coordinated cyber attack means. In addition to being able to oppose the attack with different technical as well as political decisions, it has made us a spokesman for the importance of cyber security," Ratas said, adding that in a situation where it is more and more probable that cyber attacks will be carried out during the upcoming elections, the topic cannot be cast aside and needs to be paid constant attention to.
When speaking about Estonia's upcoming EU presidency, Ratas stressed that Estonia wants the relationship between the U.S. and Europe to remain strong, mainly in regard to economic issues. "Estonia's role as the presidency holder is to keep the European Union united and efficient. A strong European Union is also an important partner for the U.S. to oppose different challenges in the world," he said.
The U.S. delegation is headed by the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security Michael McCaul, and the Congress delegation's other members are Will Hurd, Martha McSally, Kenny Marchant, Clay Higgins, Kathleen Rice and Dutch Ruppersberger.