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Minister of Defence and EDA Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý discussed European defence investments

9. June 2022 - 23:55
Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet met today with European Defence Agency (EDA) Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý
Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet met today with European Defence Agency (EDA) Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý

Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet met today with European Defence Agency (EDA) Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý to discuss the current security situation, the Russian war in Ukraine, defence investments, innovation, current and future cooperation opportunities for Estonia within the EDA.

“The EU has a very important role in today’s security environment – incentivising investments in Member States’ defence capabilities. The EDA has identified the areas that need most attention, and now we need to focus on immediate action. This cooperation will also allow us to be better equipped to support Ukraine through this war, and it was good to have a chance to discuss it in person today with the EDA CE Jiří Šedivý” said minister Laanet.

“What’s more, the EDA is an important platform for taking innovation and defence industry development forward in Europe. We have already seen great results from PESCO and CARD initiatives, which hold a lot of potential for the future. Estonia welcomes the EU and EDA innovation initiatives, such as the recently established EDA Defence Innovation Hub (HEDI), which will link well with our future NATO DIANA footprint. HEDI and DIANA represent a great opportunity in developing NATO-EU cooperation,” added Laanet.

“I am delighted to have had the opportunity to personally discuss EDA’s work with Minister Laanet and senior decision-makers in the Estonian Ministry of Defence. This visit also allowed me to thank Estonia for its support to the Agency and the EU defence initiatives, including CARD and PESCO, which are crucial for bringing defence cooperation forward. I believe that with the massive security and defence challenges Europe is facing, especially now with the war in Ukraine, cooperation remains the best and most effective way of addressing them. Today, Estonia participates in 6 EDA projects, but there is much more potential to exploit. I therefore encourage Estonia to further benefit from collaborative opportunities in defence, and to use the Agency to its full potential”, Mr Šedivý commented.

Estonia supports and actively participates in European defence initiatives. The main interests for Estonia in EU cooperation include military mobility, air and missile defence, anti-tank capabilities and cyber defence. The total value of EDA programmes and projects in Estonia currently stands at approximately €54 million.

Mr Šedivý also visited Milrem Robotics to observe the Integrated Modular Unmanned Ground System (IMUGS) project, co-funded under the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP) and run by a consortium led by Milrem Robotics. He also visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), the Cyber Range CR14, and the Estonian Defence Industry Association.

Additional information: [email protected]