Yuli Edelstein speaks into a microphone.

Courtesy of JNS. Photo credit: Flash90
MK Yuli Edelstein attends a ceremony in Jerusalem for his successor as Israel’s health minister, July 13, 2021

(JNS) MK Yuli Edelstein, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, met online Monday with his counterparts from the parliaments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. They decided to establish a joint forum to boost military and intelligence cooperation.

Lawmakers Žygimantas Pavilionis, Marko Mihkelson and Rihards Kols, who respectively chair the Lithuanian, Estonian and Latvian parliamentary committees on foreign affairs, expressed interest in tightening security collaboration in light of the developments in the Middle East and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Of particular interest was Russian cooperation with Iran.

Edelstein called on his Baltic counterparts to push for the European Union to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

“Every terrorist incident or attack against Israel, on its territory or outside, bears the imprint of Iran,” Edelstein said.

The Baltic lawmakers agreed to jointly visit Israel in the coming months to learn more closely about its experiences in security affairs.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, now in its second year, prompted European countries to boost defense spending, contributing to a spike in Israeli arms sales.