Defense leaders present long-term plan to president

President Kersti Kaljulaid with EDF commander Maj. Gen. Martin Herem and Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa).
President Kersti Kaljulaid with EDF commander Maj. Gen. Martin Herem and Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa). Source: Ministry of Defense

Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) and commander-in-chief of the Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Maj. Gen. Martin Herem presented the National Defense Development Plan 2030 to President Kersti Kaljulaid Wednesday.

Luik said that the plan takes into account ensuring present capabilties is important in effective deterrence and protection, as well as new capabilities, with the costs of both taken into account in the plan.

Luik said via a defense ministry press release that: "The National Defense Development Plan is realistic, based on military advice from the EDF commander, and takes into account the threats globally and in the Baltic Sea region, as well as the available resources. Naturally, we always support the functioning of civil society and the Estonian economy."

President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the next decade is key, and that the report helps with planning for this.

She said: "Precisely how far our capabilities will grow from now on depends on how much the government and the Riigikogu want to contribute to military national defense in the next ten years. I sincerely hope that the discussions on this matter will be meaningful, and that the decisions will be made with awareness, since the defense planners have accurately calculated the cost of all new possible military capabilities."

"I also hope that all the financial opportunities offered by our allies will be used to strengthen Estonia's defense capabilities, and that we will be able to launch joint capability development projects with Latvia and Lithuania," the President added.

The National Defense Development Plan is a central capability planning document concerned with national defense, with the aim of identifying the necessary military and non-military capability developments for the next decade, based on the existing threat scenarios and in line with the state's capabilities, the defense ministry says.

Jüri Luik expressed satisfaction that there is broad political consensus on defense spending and achieving goals, with the president adding her confidence in the ministry and in the EDF.

The 10-year objectives are sub-divided over shorter time periods, with a four-year defense ministry plan, which in turn is input into the annual defense budget, part of the overall state budget.

The defense ministry recently launched a website outlining both defense future plans and Estonia's development in its defensive capabilities since independence.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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