Estonia to Increase Defence Spending to 3% of GDP
Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur has approved the development plan of the Ministry of Defence for 2024-2027, which, in addition to creating forces and developing capabilities, provides for the development of a military and medical centre.
This was reported in a press release from the Ministry of Defence.
For the already signed HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems, medium-range air defence systems will be purchased to develop air defence, ammunition for air attack will be purchased, mechanisation of manoeuvre units will begin, and the Government will increase ammunition stocks. Over the next four years, ammunition worth more than €1.2 billion will be purchased.
"Planning is a key task of national defence. Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine clearly shows what capabilities we need to invest in. Bringing national defence spending up to 3% of GDP allows us to do this. In the development plan, we have set a priority to create the necessary capabilities as soon as possible," said Defence Minister Hanna Pevkur.
The development plan also includes an important place in supporting the youth organisations of the Defence League, for which more than 7.3 million euros will be allocated during this period. The funding for the Defence League will also increase significantly in the coming years.
In addition to the reconstruction of the runway, the construction of additional barracks and new ammunition depots will begin in Emara, and the construction of mobilisation warehouses for the units will continue. The development plan also provides for the replacement of the Põkker naval base, increased co-financing of EDF's defence projects and funds for the planning of an ammunition industrial park.
"Estonia's investment in defence has grown by leaps and bounds in light of the war in Ukraine, and we are buying much more and better weapons, ammunition and equipment, but it is also important that we invest in people and infrastructure," Pevkur added.
The Ministry of Defence Development Plan for 2024-2027 is based on the 10-year National Defence Development Plan until 2031 and ensures that the goals set out in the National Defence Development Plan are achieved within the planned timeframe and that the necessary resources are allocated to achieve them. The goals set out in the development plans are based on the military advice of the Commander of the Defence Forces and the capability objectives of NATO forces.
As reported by The Gaze, after the adoption of the final document of the summit in Vilnius, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that it was important for the country that the final text contained the word "invitation" for Ukraine and clearly outlined the "path", practical steps and roadmap for Ukraine's membership.
Kallas stressed that the disagreement over the promises made to Ukraine during the meeting in Vilnius shows that NATO countries take this issue very seriously.
"I understand President Zelenskyy's frustration, because he wants to live in peace, as do we NATO Allies. But this is all we can offer now," Kallas commented on the Ukrainian president's criticism of NATO's decision not to offer Ukraine a membership plan.