Prime Minister Jüri Ratas gave the Foreign Affairs Committee and the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) an overview of Estonia’s positions at the meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government, which will be held next week in Brussels.
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson thinks that equal sharing of defence spending burden will be an important topic at the Summit. “It is good that the allies take their commitments seriously and are working on increasing their defence spending. It is expected that by 2025, there will be 17 member states who spend at least 2 percent of their GDP on national defence,” Mihkelson said.
He added that the Summit would also focus on strengthening NATO’s collective defence, cooperation between NATO and the European Union and unity of transatlantic relations, inviting of Macedonia to accession talks, and expressing of support to Georgia and Ukraine.
“First of all we hope that it will be a constructive and unanimous Summit where, besides reviewing the growth of defence spending, necessary decisions on strengthening defence will also be made,” Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said.
She pointed out that NATO’s defence spending had continuously grown after the change of security situation, and although, from Estonia’s point of view, it could grow at a more rapid pace, the contribution of the European countries and Canada in NATO had increased by 87 billion dollars since 2015. “It is a notable change,” she emphasised. “The President of the USA has been criticised a lot, but from the Estonian perspective, Donald Trump’s pressure to increase defence spending has been right.”
The meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government will be held on 11 and 12 July in Brussels, Belgium. NATO summits generally take place every two years. The purpose of the summit is to evaluate the activities of the Alliance since the last summit and provide strategic direction for the Alliance. It is planned to adopt several documents at the meeting, including a political declaration and a communiqué of NATO Summit.
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