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Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Kalev Stoicescu said at the meeting with Minister of National Defence of Turkey Yaşar Güler today that Estonia and Turkey were together in the strongest alliance of the world, and it was Estonia’s wish that this alliance would be even stronger.

Stoicescu stated that Estonia’s and NATO’s greatest security challenges continued to be countering the threat posed by Russia and supporting Ukraine, but also fighting terrorism. “Together with the Nordic Countries and the Baltic States, we are facing hybrid attacks as front-line guards. We have to take very seriously the recent incidents with the Balticconnector and undersea fibre-optic cables, as well as the SMS bomb threats against schools in Estonia, but also in Latvia and Lithuania. NATO’s collective defence must cover the entire Baltic Sea, including the underwater infrastructure,” he said, and expressed hope that the defence cooperation between the countries within NATO would strengthen further. “Without Sweden, the collective defence of the Nordic-Baltic region is not complete. We hope that Sweden’s accession to NATO will become a reality in the nearest future,” he said. Stoicescu also pointed out that Estonia invested a significant amount of more than three per cent of its GDP in national defence, and that the procurement contracts signed today with a Turkish company would increase Estonia’s defence capabilities.

The Minister of National Defence of Turkey noted that the relations between Estonia and Turkey were based on long-standing respect and cooperation, the vitality of which is evidenced by the fact that in January 2024 we will be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the recognition of Estonia’s independence by Turkey, as well as by the fact that Estonia makes a large purchase of defence equipment from Turkish companies. The Minister of National Defence also emphasised that Turkey always respected all commitments of NATO and had supported Ukraine from the beginning of the war, and that support would continue in the future as well.

Estonia will buy from Turkey wheeled armoured vehicles for 200 million euros to armour the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Defence Forces. The first vehicles will arrive in a year. Minister of National Defence of Turkey Yaşar Güler will sign the agreements on the purchase of armoured vehicles today in Tallinn. According to the National Centre for Defence Investments, the future partners will equip the Defence Forces of Estonia with around 230 wheeled armoured vehicles and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Centre of the Rescue Board with four 4×4 armoured vehicles.

Photos: Erik Peinar

Riigikogu Press Service
Maris Meiessaar
+372 631 6353, +372 5558 3993
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