ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Governor Larry Hogan today commemorated Maryland’s long-standing security partnerships with Estonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and reaffirmed the state’s commitment to the people of Ukraine at Camp Fretterd Military Reservation in Reisterstown.
“In recent weeks, we have again been reminded of exactly why strong ties and alliances like this are so critical,” said Governor Hogan. “We have worked together closely all these years—conducting training exercises and building an enduring partnership—to be prepared to help ensure stability and democracy through uncertain and dangerous times. As commander in chief of the Maryland National Guard, I pledge that we will continue to stand with you, and we will continue to stand with the brave people of Ukraine, Estonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to stand with all of our allies.”
Estonia. Established in 1993 as part of one of the first partnerships under the National Guard State Partnership Program, the Maryland National Guard participates in a range of military-to-military activities with both the Estonian Defense Forces and the Estonian Defense League. This partnership is considered the gold standard for developing future partnerships within the program.
In 2019, the governor enacted a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries focused on economic development, tourism, education, drug abuse prevention, and culture and arts.
Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Maryland National Guard’s partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in 2003, with a focus on military-to-military activities, crisis response, and emergency preparedness for natural disasters.
Support For Ukraine Against Russian Aggression. Shortly after the Russian invasion began, the governor announced the termination of Maryland’s sister state relationship with the Leningrad Region of Russia, which was first established in 1993. The governor also directed state agencies to review any and all contracts, procurements, and holdings that may have ties to Russian entities, and called on the board of trustees of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System to take immediate divestment actions with regards to investments, securities, or holdings with Russian or Russia-affiliated entities. In addition to taking part in a special prayer service at St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church in Baltimore, the governor led a twilight prayer vigil at the State House.