Minister Kenney meets NATO counterparts at the Defence Ministerial Meeting
June 24, 2015
Brussels, Belgium – Canada today reaffirmed to allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) its resolve to stand with them and partners in the face of the Putin regime’s aggression toward Ukraine.
In Brussels for a meeting of NATO defence ministers, Defence Minister Jason Kenney met on the sidelines with the United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, as well as France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The Minister also used the opportunity to speak with his counterparts from Croatia, Estonia, and Portugal on Canadian-European defence issues.
- Minister Kenney and US Secretary of Defense Carter held their first official bilateral meeting since taking their respective positions and discussed various defence and security issues, such as the NATO Readiness Action Plan, which is the comprehensive package of measures to help the Alliance adapt to the shifting security environment, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Putin regime’s aggression toward Ukraine.
- During his bilateral meeting with French Defence Minister Le Drian, Minister Kenney discussed the two countries’ commitment to promoting peace in the ongoing security crises in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as means to enhance Canada-France military cooperation, information exchanges, and policy initiatives.
- The Minister convened with his Croatian counterpart, Minister Ante Kotromanović, to reaffirm the strong defence relationship between Canada and Croatia. Minister Kenney also reiterated Canada’s commitment to peace in the Balkans and its ongoing contribution to NATO’s Kosovo mission.
- Minister Kenney and Estonian Defence Minister Sven Mikser reaffirmed the importance of the Canada-Estonia defence relationship in the face of the Putin regime’s aggression in the Baltic region. Minister Kenney also emphasized Canada’s pride in training and exercising alongside the Estonian Armed Forces in support of NATO’s Assurance Measures, which are extra military measures to reinforce the Alliance’s collective defence in wake of the crisis in Ukraine. Additionally, Minister Kenney noted that Canada is pleased to support the work of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn.
- Canada remains committed to maintaining productive defence relations with Portugal as Minister Kenney met with his Portuguese counterpart, Minister of National Defence Jose-Pedro Aguiar-Branco to reaffirm the Canadian commitment to the NATO Readiness Action Plan and its implementation in the global security environment.