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Pevkur in Munich: Ukraine needs decisive support, not political will

19. February 2024 - 16:27

Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur, who attended the Munich Security Conference on Friday and Saturday, stressed in his speeches and meetings the need for further swift decisions to aid Ukraine, as political will alone is not enough to help Ukraine. The Minister also spoke of the need to urgently improve Europe’s defence capabilities.

“Delaying additional military aid to Ukraine is becoming more critical by the day,” said Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur. “Over the course of the Munich weekend, the war crept tens of kilometres closer to NATO as Avdiivka fell. Any delay means additional loss of life on the battlefield."

"We also need to increase Europe’s defence capabilities decisively and rapidly. The European Union has taken a number of good short-term steps to reduce the defence deficit, but we face strategic challenges that require not just words, but deeds,” added Pevkur. 

After participating in a panel discussion on possible solutions to the defence industry’s production gaps, the Minister of Defence summed up, “The message from the defence industry representatives is very simple and clear: if the contracts are there, they can be fulfilled. The most critical capacity gaps are in air defence, long-range fire and ammunition stocks.”

“It is important to emphasise that for Europe, increasing defence spending is also an opportunity, not an additional burden. A strong defence industry is a driving force for the economy, it creates jobs, technologies and dual-use solutions, and can bring benefits we might not even be able to imagine today,” he added.

The Minister of Defence participated in the NATO Eastern Flank deterrence, defence and cyber operations roundtable discussions, as well as a joint meeting of NATO Defence Ministers and members of the US Congress. Pevkur also met with Romanian Defence Minister Angel Tîlvăr, US Deputy National Security Adviser Anne Neuberger, Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Defence Shingo Miyake, Swedish Minister for Civil Defence Carl-Oskar Bohlin, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and many representatives of the defence industry.

Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur also met with former UK Secretary of State for Defence Rt.Hon. Ben Wallace to present him the Estonian Order of Merit on behalf of the President of the Republic of Estonia for his contribution towards promoting security cooperation and strengthening NATO’s Eastern Flank defence capabilities.

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Photos: Ministry of Defence | Flickr