Today, the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) unanimously decided to support extending the term of office of Commander of the Defence Forces Lieutenant General Martin Herem by two years and to submit a relevant proposal to the Government.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee Raimond Kaljulaid said that the Committee found that in the current complicated security situation, the decisions regarding the defence sector require continuity and stability. “Very substantial investment decisions have been taken to develop the Defence Forces, and they need to be implemented in the coming years, in the same way, work continues to increase the presence of allies. In order to strengthen the security on the whole eastern flank of NATO, it is necessary to implement the decisions of the Madrid Summit as soon as possible. Considering these challenges, we think it necessary that Lieutenant General Herem should continue fulfilling his duties until December 2025, as was the proposal of the Minister of Defence,” he explained.
Deputy Chairman of the National Defence Committee Leo Kunnas added that although he would have wanted to get more detailed assessments from the Minister of Defence and also hear the Commander of the Defence Forces, the decision of the Committee was unanimous. “I and Alar Laneman did not request a vote on the issue, but we still had some critical remarks and questions, which we forwarded to the Minister of Defence,” he said.
Lieutenant General Herem has been Commander of the Defence Forces since 5 December 2018. The term of office of the Commander of the Defence Forces of Estonia is five years, but the Government has the right to extend it by two years on the proposal of the Minister of Defence and taking into account the position of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu.