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Pevkur discussed Ukraine and regional security with Polish Minister of Defence

2. October 2023 - 12:20

Saturday Minister of Defence of Estonia Hanno Pevkur participated in the celebration of the anniversary of Polish regional defence in Rzeszów, Poland and met with Polish Minister of Defence Mariusz Błaszczak. The ministers discussed issues related to support for Ukraine and the security of the Baltic Sea region.

"Poland is one of our most important Allies on NATO's eastern flank and understands the seriousness of the current security situation as well as the need to do significantly more to ensure the security of the region. Poland has also been a remarkable supporter of Ukraine and I am convinced that Poland will continue to support Ukraine militarily in Russia's brutal war of aggression, because it affects the security of the entire region," Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said. According to Pevkur it is important that the Allies continue the current course of support for Ukraine as well as arms and ammunition production would take place at a scale and pace suitable for wartime. "Three components are important here. First, we need to send a clear message to Russia about Western unity and support for Ukraine; secondly, we need to increase defence expenditure; and thirdly, we need to show that our words a have meaning and sign contracts with the defence industry," Pevkur added.

At the meeting, Minister of Defence Pevkur thanked Poland for the NATO Air Policing fighters arriving at the Ämari Air Base in December and for contributing to the NATO Battle Group in Latvia. Polish fighter jets have regularly participated in NATO's Air Policing mission, and Polish troops have also taken part in Estonia´s large scale exercises. In addition, issues related to NATO's regional defence plans were discussed at the meeting. The defence ministers emphasized the need to take additional steps regarding the readiness of the forces.

"Poland is one of the leaders in defence readiness in the region, especially if we look at how Poland has developed its armed forces in the last decade. The volume of Polish defence procurement is also impressive," Pevkur said.

Estonia has close defence cooperation with Poland. In 2021, Estonia was one of the first to send its troops to Poland to support countering a hybrid attack from Belarus. Last year, Estonia decided to purchase Piorun short-range air defence systems from Poland for 103 million Euros.


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