Minister of Defence Jüri Luik thanked the servicemen, members of Defence League districts and Naiskodukaitse, who had made outstanding contributions to resolving the emergency situation, with a letter of thanks and warm words.
‘I am very pleased to be able to express my respect and deep appreciation to you, especially the volunteers, for your selfless and professional activities in the fight against the pandemic’, said Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.
Minister of Defence Luik noted that nearly 1200 volunteers from the Defence League took part in assisting the Border Guard and ensuring public order across Estonia. ‘You convincingly proved that the Naiskodukaitse and Defence League, both consisting of volunteers, are capable of rising to the occasion and, with the support of the state and the people, able to deal with a serious crisis,’ he said.
According to Luik, the Medical Service and logisticians contributed significantly to the success story of the Defence Forces in the fight against the pandemic. ‘The use of a field hospital at a critical time in Kuressaare was a very necessary, visible and natural use of resources to help the population and the health care system’, he stated.
Luik cited the distribution of more than 800,000 masks from the stockpiles of the Defence Forces – in order to support civilian structures at times when the protection of human health was at stake – as an indisputable priority.
‘In praise of the Defence Forces, I would also like to emphasise that the number of infected people in military units was low and – most importantly – our independent defence capability and cooperation with Allies operating in Estonia was always ensured, despite the limited opportunities to organise training’, said Luik.
That was the way it had to be, because our task is to be so-called professional pessimists, whose daily task is to prepare for the worst’, Luik emphasized.
According to the Minister of Defence there is no doubt that the Estonian state and people trust the Defence League and the Defence Forces, and will continue to count on their help in the future. The area of governance of the Ministry of Defence serves as a very good example for other state structures, since it had stockpiles and actual readiness to act at the outset of the crisis.
He added that Covid-19 has hit our Allies, including the United States and Great Britain, particularly hard, while at the same time Estonia’s eastern neighbour has not become less threatening, rather the opposite. At the same time, based on estimates from experts, a second wave of the virus outbreak is highly likely.
‘Therefore, the Defence Forces and the Defence League have a threefold task in the context of the pandemic: to protect themselves first, in order to be able to act; to help the population and support the state; and to be ready to defend the state together with our Allies’, noted Luik.
Further information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee