The Pärnu regiment of the volunteer Defense League (Kaitseliit) does not want to move to a former Defense Forces building on the outskirts of Pärnu, but is instead asking the government for resources to develop a new building.
The Estonian Defense Forces' military command is set to move from their current location near Pärnu airfield in the start of 2021. For the buildings to remain in operation, it has previously been decided that the Pärnu regiment of the volunteer Defense League will take over the buildings.
The Defense League's western district commander, Lt. Col. Rasmus Lippur said in September that the Pärnu regiment wishes to develop a separate headquarters building, as all necessary permits and land have been acquired. The regiment's volunteer force decided to turn to the government for an allocation of €10 million.
Tanel Rütman, head of Defense League's strategic communications, said: "The actual story is that the Defense League's move to Eametsa is also included in the Defense League Commander's precedent given out in the summer. The regiment is aware that they will move to Eametsa next year and that is that."
The application for state support was made on the volunteers' initiative.
Rütman said: "We were aware of it but, well, the decision that they will move to Eametsa was made a long time ago. Initiative is a valued attribute in national security actually. But the case at hand - these things should go through a stricter chain of command and while looking at the bigger picture."
Romek Krosenkranius, Pärnu mayor and member of the Pärnu regiment's command, said the regiment has waited for a headquarters building for years.
Krosenkranius said: "The regiment's current real estate is spread across the city and the municipality, they are depreciated and are depreciating and no money has been spent on their reconstruction because volunteers in Pärnu have known for years that a new headquarters will come. A detail plan has been drawn up, a project has been completed and a building permit was issued in 2017."
The Pärnu mayor added that preparations for a new building have cost some €180,000 and that money will have to be considered a loss if development is not begun.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste