The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) got an overview of the implementation of the National Security Concept of Estonia in national defence from Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, and decided that in addition to solving national issues, it was also necessary to focus on military mobility and the level of defence spending.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee Andres Metsoja said that the Committee had discussed the issues of national security of supply, and heard the representatives of the sector several times in its work. “It is clear that the emergency situations bring to the light challenges and problems, but they have to be faced,” Metsoja emphasised. He added that in connection with the National Defence Bill, the Committee had systematically focused on general crisis management. “The issue is in the levels of responsibility and in the support organisation,” Metsoja said. “In the case of crisis, there it has to be clear who is in charge, and responsibility must not be scattered.”
Deputy Chairman of the Committee Kalle Laanet underlined the importance of comprehensive national defence. He pointed out as a matter of concern that although we had a great number of volunteers, all agencies had their own databases. “In reality, there are much less people, because one person is often active in several fields,” Laanet said. In his opinion, it is necessary to have a central and common database of volunteers so that it could be seen how many of them there actually are and what competencies they have.
Prime Minister Ratas, who gave explanations to the Committee, thought that Estonia’s security was solid. He said that military threat against Estonia was low, although, as estimated in 2017, it could not be ruled out if NATO’s collective deterrence was not credible. The terrorist threat is also low, but not non-existent. Several hybrid threats also have to be kept in mind. “Our national defence readiness is good, and our membership in NATO and in the European Union, strong transatlantic relations with the United States and the Nordic-Baltic countries ensure our security,” Ratas assured.
The Prime Minister said that long-term planning and stable financing were the preconditions for successful security policy. He admitted that the state budget discussions were still ahead and the predictions were still coming, but the stable and targeted financing of national defence had to continue at the level of at least two per cent of GDP.
The Prime Minister will speak about the achievement of the Estonian security policy objectives at tomorrow’s sitting of the Riigikogu, which will be live streamed on the web.
Video recording of the sitting can be viewed later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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