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The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) and the Defence Committee of the Eduskunta (Parliament) of Finland, that is visiting Estonia, discussed developing the defence capabilities of both countries, defence cooperation and the possibilities for future support to Ukraine. In the opinion of the Defence Committees, the Western countries have to enhance their defence capability significantly.

Chairman of the National Defence Committee Kalev Stoicescu said that Finland’s accession to NATO had provided the opportunity to have closer defence cooperation and to strengthen the deterrence and defence posture in the whole Baltic Sea region. In his opinion, Russia will remain a constant threat to NATO and the Allies must take this into account in their activities.

Stoicescu underlined the importance of NATO’s regional defence plans that were approved at the Vilnius Summit, but noted that the plans alone would not protect our security. According to him, the plans have to be jointly exercised and filled with real capabilities. “We very much look forward to Sweden becoming a member of NATO as soon as possible,” he said.

At the meeting, the Defence Committees also discussed the need to continue supporting Ukraine. “The West must remain patient and continue giving military, political and economic assistance to Ukraine as long as Ukraine needs it,” Stoicescu said.

He highlighted the decision taken by the European Union, at Estonia’s proposal, to acquire one million artillery shells to help Ukraine, and noted that this promise must be met as soon as possible. “The Committees agreed that the Western countries had to significantly increase the capabilities of their defence industries. In the neighbourhood of aggressive Russia, it is especially important that we had adequate supplies of weapons and ammunition. We also have to continue supporting Ukraine,” he said.

The Defence Committee of the Eduskunta of Finland is on a two-day visit to Estonia. Today, they also had meetings with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Kusti Salm and Commander of the Defence Forces, General Martin Herem. Tomorrow, the delegation consisting of 14 MPs will visit the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn and the military base in Tapa.

The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu and the Defence Committee of the Eduskunta have been cooperating closely and holding annual working meetings since 1993.

Photos (Erik Peinar / Chancellery of the Riigikogu)

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
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