Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Ukraine join NATO cooperative cyber defense center

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Ireland, Iceland, Japan and Ukraine joined the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) on its 15th anniversary on Tuesday.

To welcome its new members, NATO CCDCOE held a flag-raising ceremony on its premises, spokespeople for the center said.

«I am very grateful and pleased that Ireland, Iceland, Japan and Ukraine have decided to join our cyber defense community. I'm happy to acknowledge that we've developed a strong network over the past 15 years, where NATO and like-minded countries can share their knowledge and experience in tackling cyber threats. The purpose of CCDCOE is to boost cooperation and for its members to be able to benefit from research, training and exercises,» Director of CCDCOE Mart Noorma said.

«First of all, I would like to congratulate the NATO CCDCOE operating in Tallinn. In the past 15 years, CCDCOE has developed from a small team of experts into the largest NATO center of competence of its kind. Secondly, I want to extend a warm welcome to the new members of the center, all of whom will bring highly valued knowledge with them. I am particularly pleased about Ukraine joining the center as it provides a unique opportunity to contribute to the defense of Ukraine in Russia's brutal war and at the same time gain knowledge on the cyber battlefield in order to improve the cyber security of all CCDCOE members,» Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur said.

Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna noted that CCDCOE has proven itself over the years with several global projects, from the Locked Shields cyber defense exercise to the annual CCDCOE CyCon conference.

«The center can be particularly proud of the creation of the Tallinn Manual, because for more than 10 years this manual has been the basis for protecting international law in the cyberspace,» Tsahkna said. «I wish CCDCOE a long life with its new members, because together we are even stronger.»

Ireland, Iceland, Japan and Ukraine have been successfully cooperating with CCDCOE for a long time and the said states becoming full members was the next logical step.

«Today is an important event for Ukraine and our state's relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- the national flag of Ukraine was hoisted at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence to mark Ukraine officially joining NATO CCDCOE. I am convinced that Ukraine's participation in the CCDCOE increases the exchange of cyber security experience between Ukraine and the member states of NATO CCDCOE and serves an important step on Ukraine's path to NATO,» Ambassador of Ukraine Mariana Betsa said.

«In the light of Russia's continuous military aggression and hybrid war, Ukraine joining CCDCOE further strengthens our state's cyber capability. I want to thank the CCDCOE sponsor states for inviting Ukraine to join. I also extend my special gratitude to the Republic of Estonia as the hosting state for their support and assistance on our path to NATO CCDCOE,» she added.

In addition to the Estonian minister of defense and minister of foreign affairs, NATO CCDCOE director, and the Ukrainian ambassador, speeches were also delivered at the ceremony by Irish Minister of State for European Affairs and Defense Peter Burke, Ambassador of Iceland Harald Aspelung, charge d'affaires of the Japanese embassy Yuki Sakai, and US Ambassador George P. Kent.

NATO CCDCOE was created on May 14, 2008, at the initiative of Germany, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Spain. The center presently has 39 member states, including all 31 members of NATO.

The Tallinn-based NATO CCDCOE is a NATO-accredited international center of excellence, think tank and training center, which as grown into an important source of information on cyber defense for NATO and its member states.

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