The members of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) discussed the next plans of NATO and allied countries as well as the major challenges in strengthening the collective defence on the Eastern flank of the Alliance at the meeting with Chair of the NATO Military Committee Admiral Rob Bauer today. Chairman of the Committee Raimond Kaljulaid said that Estonia wanted to see rapid and specific progress in implementing the decisions of the Madrid Summit.
At the meeting with Admiral Bauer, Kaljulaid emphasised the high will to defend of the Estonian people and their support for the presence of NATO allies in Estonia. He assured that in these complicated times, there was a consensus among the members of the Riigikogu on the issues of national defence and the need to increase investments in the field of defence.
“National defence and strengthening of security are very important topics for the Estonian public today. Therefore, we want to see very rapid and specific progress in implementing the decisions of the Madrid Summit. We are naturally ready to contribute and, among other things, to undertake additional spending on national defence also in the current very difficult economic situation. We also remain highly committed to contributing to the success of NATO and allied military missions,” Kaljulaid underlined.
At the meeting, Deputy Chairman of the National Defence Committee Leo Kunnas drew attention to the need to strengthen NATO command structure so that it would correspond to the changed threat picture and would ensure effective collective defence. Member of the Committee Mati Raidma raised the question of whether the target of spending two percent of gross domestic product on defence as agreed upon between NATO member states was still sufficient in the current security environment, or whether it was time to give a signal that allies should spend more on defence in the future.
Besides the plans and challenges of NATO and allied countries, the possibilities for jointly supporting Ukraine were also discussed at the meeting. The importance of cooperation between parliaments, defence forces and the private sector, including defence industries, in ensuring the sustainable defence capabilities of NATO allies was spoken about as well. Chair of the NATO Military Committee Admiral Bauer is in Tallinn to attend the Conference of the NATO Military Committee on 16 to 18 September.
Russia’s war against Ukraine has focused NATO’s attention more than ever on strengthening deterrence and defence posture. At the NATO Summit held at the end of June in Madrid, it was pointed out that Russia was the most significant and direct threat to Allies’ security, and the heads of state agreed to significantly strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture.
Photos of the meeting (Erik Peinar/ Chancellery of the Riigikogu)
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