Ministry to Fast-Track Narva Home Guard Building
The Defense Ministry has set aside 1 million euros for the construction of a Defense League building in the eastern border city of Narva.
Minister Urmas Reinsalu said Estonian state defense must be visible in Narva, which is predominantly Russian-speaking, and the decision to fund the project now was taken with the current security climate in mind, Postimees reported on Tuesday.
Narva has 200 home guard members, including Estonians, Russian-speakers and other ethnicities.
Reinsalu has issued calls for people to join the voluntary Defense League and the organization recently said interest has increased after the events in Ukraine, although no exact figures have been released.
Defense League membership as an active member is open to Estonian citizens 18 years and over. Non-citizens may be supporting members and honorary members.
The 2013 to 2022 defense development plans calls for the voluntary forces' membership to double to 30,000.
The Defense League building in Narva was floated last year, but Reinsalu only signed off on the funding on Sunday. Construction work is expected to begin in September with a 2015 opening.