Minister of Defence of Estonia Jüri Luik said that the agreements reached in the government this week will allow to continue the development of national defence in a way that, in addition to the existing capabilities, we can develop new ones.
‘It is important for us that our new capabilities are based on the National Defence Development Plan, including the description of needs of the Defence Forces and the guidelines of the Commander of the Defence Forces. It is also important that in the future we would have the people, equipment, infrastructure, planned ammunition stockpiles and funding to maintain new, as well as existing capabilities,’ Luik said.
In 2021, defence expenditure will increase to EUR 645.4 million, 2.29% of GDP. It includes costs related to hosting Allied forces for around EUR 10 million in 2021, as well as an additional EUR 20 million in defence investments. The state will strengthen its military capabilities with the procurement of equipment, however there will be no increase in personnel costs in 2021. An additional EUR 46 million will be added in 2022 to the National Defence Investment Program, which will remain at the current level throughout the period of the national budget strategy, in the amount of EUR 20 million per year.
During the period 2021–2024, the implementation of the activities approved in the National Defence Development Plan 2017–2026 will continue, including the complementing of coastal protection armaments. Procurement of sea mines is possible within the framework of the current Ministry of Defence Development Plan and Defence Investment Programme.
In addition to the capabilities planned in the National Defence Development Plan 2017–2026, a long-distance coastal defence system will also be procured using the additional funding allocated by the Government, which will enable it to influence a potential adversary along the entire length of the Estonian coast.
The level of individual protection of troops is also improving, with the plan to acquire new protective gear for the entire wartime structure. In the Defence League, annual operational support will increase, exceeding EUR 45.6 million by 2024.
Additional info: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee