Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet participated in a two-day meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, where the main topics were Allied burden-sharing, the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture, operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the forward-looking NATO 2030 process.
The meeting emphasized the need to continue increasing defence spending so that NATO would be ready to stand against Russia and rising new threats, as well as to invest in new technologies.
‘Estonia is fulfilling its obligations before the Alliance in an exemplary manner. Our defence expenditures in 2021 are 2.3% of GDP, and in 2020 we met the 20% limit on investment in basic procurement for the first time, reaching 25.4%,’ said Minister of Defence Laanet. ‘We take our Allied commitments and the development of independent defence capabilities very seriously,’ Laanet continued.
The NATO Defence Ministers also received an overview of the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Estonia will continue to make significant contributions to NATO operations.
‘We are closely monitoring the security situation and peace talks in Afghanistan, and will contribute in consultation with other allies,’ Laanet noted. ‘We are ready to continue participating in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. In addition, in the second half of the year, we will contribute to the NATO mission in Iraq with an infantry group formed on the basis of the Defence League,’ he added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg briefed the Allies on NATO’s 2030 process proposals, which cover the changing global security environment and are aimed at strengthening NATO’s political cohesion.
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