US State Department Holds PSI Baltics Workshop and Exercise

Department of State

The text of the following statement was released by the Government of Estonia and the Government of the United States of America on the occasion of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Baltics Workshop and Tabletop Exercise (TTX).

The Republic of Estonia hosted a Regional Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Baltics Workshop and Tabletop Exercise (TTX) in Tallinn, Estonia on June 4-6, 2024. This meeting was co-chaired by Counsellor Argo Kangro, Department of Sanctions and Strategic Export Control, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), and U.S. Head of Delegation, Thomas Zarzecki, PhD., Director of the Office of Counterproliferation Initiatives, U.S. Department of State.

The PSI meeting featured more than 60 representatives of 14 countries primarily from Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe.

Mr. Joosep Kaasik, Undersecretary for Internal Security, Estonian Ministry of the Interior, delivered opening remarks emphasizing the significance of the PSI within the region for promoting worldwide security from a European standpoint, as well as the crucial role of global collaboration in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, and delivery systems. Gabrielle Cowan, Chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn highlighted the strong relationship between the United States and Estonia and the two countries' efforts to promote peace and stability in the region. Dr. Zarzecki underscored the importance of the PSI Baltics event and the collaboration among regional PSI partners, noting that such engagements are vital in combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

Over the course of the event, civilian and military leaders from Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States examined the proliferation pathways for WMD and their delivery systems, deepened their understanding of associated interdiction obligations, explored the legal frameworks and the best practices of partners, and strengthened the ties within the regional countering WMD community.

The workshop's briefs, panel discussions, case-study presentations, and scenario-based tabletop discussion focused on intra-governmental information sharing, best practices, and decision-making related to real-world WMD-related proliferation activities in the region. Additionally, various European agencies analyzed the implications of regional threats and regulation through mutual cooperation and trade controls.

The PSI was established in 2003 to stop or impede transfers of WMD, their delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern. Thus far, 113 states have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. Estonia and the United States encourage all countries to endorse the PSI as a visible commitment to further develop relationships with like-minded states to foster the increased collaboration needed to address today's proliferation challenges.

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