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Baltic countries launch joint forum to address Russian threat, seek Israeli cooperation

The Russian Army conducts tank exercises in the Moscow region, Russia, Feb 7, 2022. (RUSSIA MOD/EYEPRESS via Reuters)

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed a joint forum to primarily address their shared security concerns amid Russia’s continued war in Ukraine.

The Foreign Affairs and Defense committees of the three Baltic states are interested in security and military cooperation with the Jewish nation and invited their Israeli counterpart, Yuli Edelstein, to join a virtual meeting on Sunday.

The Baltic states foreign affairs representatives indicated they would make a joint visit to Israel in the near future. They also urged Edelstein to act as a mediator between NATO and their small countries, which have a total combined population of 6 million people, compared to Israel’s nearly 10 million.

Edelstein told his Baltic colleagues that "every terrorist incident or attack against Israel, on its territory or outside, bears the imprint of Iran."

In addition, the Iranian regime has provided the Russian military with drones in its fight against Ukraine’s civilian population.

In February, Edelstein, who was born in Ukraine, visited the country alongside fellow Ukrainian-born Israeli lawmaker Ze’ev Elkin.

They met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and urged the Israeli government to openly side with Ukraine against Russia.

“Israel must side with Ukraine against the dangerous combination of Russia and Iran,” said the two Israeli politicians in a joint statement.

While Israel has provided considerable humanitarian aid to Ukraine, it has been reluctant to openly side with Ukraine as it could potentially undermine its extensive military operations against Iranian targets in Syria. 

However, Edelstein and Elkin believe the Jewish state must choose democratic values over its political ties with Moscow.

“We must stop being afraid, and must take an unequivocal, active stance in line with basic moral values, as is expected of every Western country,” they stated. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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