Transatlantic relations, defence investments level and capabilities development of the Alliance, and the need for deterrence in the Baltic region were spoken about at today’s meeting of the members of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) with NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General André Lanata.
Chairman of the National Defence Committee Enn Eesmaa gave an overview of the level of Estonia’s defence spending. “Estonia contributes 2.3 percent of our GDP to national defence, and we invest one fifth of that,” Eesmaa said and added that these decisions had been taken by consensus. He also noted that the level of support to the membership of NATO was high among the population of Estonia.
Speaking of Russia’s threat to the security of the Baltic region, Eesmaa highlighted the presence of the Allies and their contribution to the Baltic air policing, which send a clear deterring message to Russia. Eesmaa expressed gratitude to General Lanata for NATO’s enhanced forward presence on its eastern flank. Eesmaa pointed out that Estonia was not just a consumer of security, but also contributed to security by participating in NATO missions from Afghanistan to Mali.
Deputy Chairman of the National Defence Committee Leo Kunnas said that the Baltic region needed a separate regional command structure of NATO, which should be located in the region and be capable of leading the military operations of the Allies.
General Lanata gave an overview of the development of the NATO forces and capabilities under his command. He explained how maximum interoperability was ensured through defence planning and capability development, by involving also the new technologies.
The meeting was also attended by members of the National Defence Committee Johannes Kert and Raivo Tamm.
Photos of the meeting (Erik Peinar, Riigikogu)