Government allocates €13m more for hosting allied troops
The government decided on Thursday to allocate more than €13m to cover costs connected to hosting allied forces, including extending existing barracks.
“Since increasing the presence of allies is of fundamental importance to Estonia's security, the government’s task is to create all the necessary conditions for that, and making such a decision a week before the NATO Warsaw summit is very important,” Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said on Thursday. “Like this, we make the unambiguous statement that Estonia is ready to host its allies,” he added.
The decision to be made in Warsaw to send a rotating battalion-sized NATO unit to Estonia in practice means that Estonia needs to cover the increasing costs related to hosting military personnel.
The government said that Estonia was ready to host the battalion, and for that an initial €11.57m would be invested in building two new barracks buildings to be ready by autumn 2017.
Estonia's task is to also protect personnel, equipment, and information of NATO outside the Tapa barracks. The government allocated more than €800,000 annually for the administrative areas of the Interior Ministry and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) assigned the related tasks.
Thursday’s cabinet meeting also approved Estonia’s positions for the alliance’s Warsaw summit to take place on Jul. 8-9. The summit is important for Estonia as well as the whole of NATO, as the alliance’s long-term defense and deterrence positions as well as NATO’s presence in Estonia will be defined.