TALLINN, Estonia – Estonia says it has declined Russia's invitation for bilateral security talks on the Baltic Sea security situation.
Defense ministry spokesman Andres Sang said Thursday such "military-political" discussions between NATO-member Estonia and Moscow are not possible because of NATO's 2014 decision to halt civil and military cooperation with Russia.
Any discussions would have to be conducted within the NATO-Russia Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Sang said, adding that Moscow's invitation was apparently meant "to play (NATO) members against each other".
Following a NATO-Russia Council meeting in July, Russia said it may, among other things, consider a proposal to reduce the risk of an accidental military confrontation in Baltic Sea airspace by switching on transponders on its military planes.
According to Russian media reports, Moscow has sent similar invitations to NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and non-members Sweden and Finland for talks in Moscow this month.