The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) made a proposal by consensus to the Government to establish medium-range air defence capability for protecting Estonia by 2025, and to consider taking a national defence loan for it if necessary.
In a letter sent to the Government, the National Defence Committee noted that they acknowledge the Government’s efforts in increasing defence spending. Next year, it will rise to 749.6 million euro and form 2.31 per cent of GDP.
At the same time, the members of the National Defence Committee expressed the view that in the current security situation, further increases in defence spending, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product, are unavoidable. On 16 September 2020, the National Defence Committee pointed out in its statement that in case of need, structural changes had to be carried out to continue developing our defence capabilities and the existing capability gaps should be reduced with the help of a loan.
The Committee is of the opinion that it is not reasonable to develop medium-range air defence capability at the expense of limiting or cutting existing capabilities. Therefore, the National Defence Committee proposes to the Government to plan for the establishment of a medium-range air defence capability in the National Defence Development Plan 2022–2031. The Committee’s proposal is to update the Development Plan within the framework of the State Budget Strategy 2023–2026 process, as the planned percentage of defence spending as a share of GDP has been significantly increased compared to the current Budget Strategy 2022–2025. The new level of defence spending has to be decided to the end of the Development Plan (until 2031).
The National Defence Committee discussed the necessity of creating medium-range air defence capability in connection with the steadily deteriorating security situation at its sittings on 12 October, 9 November and 22 November.