Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) welcomes the USA’s plan to increase funding of their military presence in Europe and says the Government will do all in its power to support allied troops stationed in the country.
In a comment released on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said that the presence of allied forces and the US in Estonia would send “an important and intimidating message.” He called the USA’s decision to increase their funding of its military presence in Europe to 3.4 billion euros within its 2017 budget “a clear confirmation that the presence of the United States and the allies in Estonia will continue, and that our well-being is extremely important to the United States.”
Rõivas called the increasing in funding a move from increasing safety to actual deterrence and pointed out that this had been a long-term goal of Estonia. Safety in Europe would increase, and this policy would be permanent.
The Prime Minister went on to say that the Government was ready to increase its efforts to make sure that local infrastructure and training opportunities meet the needs of the allies.
Estonia’s current efforts to improve infrastructure and training include new barracks for allied troops in Tapa and completing the NATO staff element building in Tallinn, among other projects. For the period of 2015 to 2019, the Government allocated 40 million euros, and will spend 10.1 million euros in 2016 alone.
The US also contribute to local defence infrastructure. It supported Estonia's procurement of the Javelin anti-tank missile system with 33 million euros, and invested 35 million euros in the improvement of the military bases in Tapa and Ämari.
Editor: Dario Cavegn