Estonia to get back over half of value of arms sent to Ukraine from EU

EDF member on anti-tank missile launcher simulator.
EDF member on anti-tank missile launcher simulator. Source: (Siim Teder/Estonian Defense Forces)

Estonia will get at least €135 million from the European Union to replace weapons sent to Ukraine. Estonia has given Ukraine a quarter of a million euros worth of arms and ammunition.

The compensation will be paid from the European Peace Facility the main function of which has been to help Ukraine since the Russian invasion. The fund is used to support member states that have given Ukraine arms in procuring new military equipment. EU foreign ministers on Monday decided to hike sums to support Ukraine by another €500 million to €2.5 billion.

"The money we are looking at concerns the first [Peace Facility] package the division of which has been approved and the money distributed between member states. We will get back €135 million or one-third of the first package sum," Kusti Salm, secretary general of the Ministry of Defense, told ERR on Tuesday.

"The EU has approved five such €500-million packages since the start of the war in Ukraine, and because Estonia was among the first countries to give Ukraine aid on a large scale, we will get a notable part of it back so we can resupply," Salm explained.

"More will come from subsequent funding packages that have not yet been distributed," Salm added.

The secretary general said that the €135 million will be used to replace the same things that were given to Ukraine. "It will be spent on procurement of additional anti-tank mines and missiles," he said.

Salm emphasized that because aid is calculated based on how much it costs to replace equipment, and depreciation has lowered the market value of aid already given, Estonia stands to benefit from the compensation that is aimed at procuring new arms.

He also highlighted Estonian diplomats' contribution in achieving this solution. "We need to commend our talented diplomats in Brussels who negotiated the deal. It is a great boon to Estonia and the development of our defensive capacity and shows that those who help Ukraine the most also benefit the most from the initiative."

Salm said that the system has been largely designed by Estonian diplomats and defense officials and it is no accident Estonia has fared well therein.

The European Peace Facility is an off-budget instrument that enhances the EU's ability to act as a global security provider.  It was established in March 2021 to preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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