Estonian PM: We need a NATO division

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at a press conference at the Tapa Military Campus.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at a press conference at the Tapa Military Campus. Source: Government Office

Estonia's defenses against its aggressive neighbor are not strong enough today, which is why NATO should ramp up its presence in the region by stationing a division-size unit here, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on Wednesday.

"NATO will defend every inch of its territory – we need credible defense on land, in the air and at sea. [But] the current situation in our region is not satisfactory in these terms. We need to fill in the gap," Kallas said at a joint press conference with her Danish counterpart Mette Frederiksen in Tallinn.

"We need combat-ready divisions supported complete with air defense and long-range fire operations capacity and a command element," Kallas said. "We need to go from air policing to air defense. We need more NATO ships patrolling the Baltic Sea," the Estonian PM continued.

"In order to have peace, we need to prepare for war," Kallas said. Deterrence and defense are better than and cheaper than war."

The premiere said that Russia's aggression in Ukraine has altered the security situation, which is why NATO must also change.

Kallas said that pledging 2 percent of GDO for defense should become the absolute minimum level, adding that the Estonian government's decisions from last week hike it to 2.5 percent.

A division usually consists of between two and six regiments or brigades to which battalions sporting special tasks, companies and rear units are attached. A division has its own fire support and service capacity and usually has 10,000-30,000 personnel.

The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) land forces are currently made up of two infantry brigades.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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