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Estonia will allocate more than 3% of GDP to defense

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Security assistance to the Baltic states, approved by the US Congress last week, shows that the United States is deeply committed to Estonia’s security.

Estonia plans to invest more than 3% of its gross domestic product in defense in the coming years. This was announced by the country’s Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna during his visit to the United States, which began on March 25, media reports.

He said that the security assistance to the Baltic states approved by the US Congress last week proves that the United States is firmly committed to Estonia’s security.

“If US security assistance is added to our own defense budget, we will be able to strengthen our independent defense capabilities faster than planned,” Tsahkna said.

The government funding bill approved by the US Congress provides $228 million in security assistance to the Baltic states. The money will be allocated under the Baltic Security Initiative (BSI), which was created in 2020 with the aim of developing independent defense capabilities and interoperability of the Baltic countries. The exact amount to be allocated to Estonia will be known this fall.

In addition to the Baltic Security Initiative, the United States supports its allies, particularly Estonia, through the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. This year, the United States allocated $47.3 million to Estonia under this program. Estonia’s record 2022 FMF allocation of $140.5 million was primarily used for the procurement of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system.

“US financial security assistance to Estonia has made a significant contribution to the development of Estonia’s defense capabilities and the creation of the necessary infrastructure. By adding a permanent rotational presence of US troops in Estonia to the financial security assistance , we can confidently say that the allies understand the security challenges of our region and are ready to make various contributions to the security of our country and its inhabitants. Estonia greatly appreciates this,” said the head of Foreign Ministry.

We remind you that Estonia will invest 0.25% of GDP in the defense of Ukraine.

It has also been reported that European NATO members will collectively spend more than 2% of GDP on defense for the first time.

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Source: korrespondent

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