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The Minister of Defence Sven Mikser replied to the interpellation concerning insufficient financing of the Estonian Defence League, an unreasonable public procurement, and the rules on the use of additional forces in ensuring public order (No 6), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Karilaid, Lauri Laasi, Märt Sults, Kadri Simson and Enn Eesmaa on 28 April.

The interpellators referred to the fact that, in recent years, the importance of the Estonian Defence League has increased significantly in terms of national defence. Unfortunately, the financing has not increased at the same pace. The interpellators wished to know how the financing of the Estonian Defence League and the increasing of the regular personnel was planned to be improved.

Mikser explained that the solution of the military defence of Estonia had been approved in the document titled “The National Defence Development Plan”. According to this document, units manned with professional active servicemen, reservists as well as members of the Defence League are equally important and have a role in the wartime structure of the Defence Forces. “They together constitute an entity where every part supplements the other, and every functioning depends on the functioning of the others. All these wartime structural units, including the units of the Estonian Defence League, will be fully armed and equipped by 2022, according to current plans,” Mikser said. He noted that Estonia develops military defence in view of long-term risk assessments and military advice, as well as on the basis of realistic plans of existing resources.

Mikser said that the Estonian Defence League is mainly financed through the targeted support received from the Ministry of Defence which constitutes more than 98% of estimated incomes of the Estonian Defence League. The Minister presented the volume of the support allocated for specific purposes to the Estonian Defence League. It has been constantly increasing over the years – the amount was 21.4 million euro in 2011, 25.5 million a year later, 26.5 million in 2013, 30.4 million last year, and 32.6 million euro this year.

“The agreement for allocation of the support fixes the functions of the Estonian Defence League, among other things, the preparation of the military defence capability of the state in the extent determined by the Commander of the Defence Forces, as well as the activities relating to the increasing of the membership of the Defence League, their training and motivation,” Mikser said. He added that, besides this allocation, the procurements of the Estonian Defence League, among other things, procurements of individual equipment, procurements of the equipment of units, as well as infrastructure investments, for example the development of firing ranges, are also financed from the budget of the Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence. The direct costs incurred by members of the Defence League in the participation in the Defence Forces exercises are also covered. “Thus it can be said with absolute certainty that the volume of the activities relating to the Estonian Defence League accounts for more than 8% of the defence budget,” Mikser explained.

The Minister of Defence also replied to the interpellation concerning the receiving of the tanks offered by Switzerland (No. 15).

During the open microphone, Mihhail Stalnuhhin and Jüri Adams took the floor.

Video recordings of the Riigikogu sittings can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, 631 6351, 5190 2837

[email protected]