Estonia supports EEAS proposal for Ukrainian military training mission
At an informal meeting of EU defense ministers in Prague on Tuesday, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) expressed Estonia's support for the European External Action Service (EEAS) proposal to establish a military training mission for the Ukrainian armed forces.
"Estonia has contributed to training Ukrainian armed forces for some time now and will continue to do so, therefore we are prepared to participate in this mission as well," Pevkur said according to a ministry press release. "However, it's important that this mission complement weapons aid to Ukraine and go hand in hand with already operational training activities."
The focus of Tuesday's informal meeting was continuous aid to Ukraine as well as raising EU member states' defense capabilities.
"Supporting Ukraine in a multitude of ways is and will remain a priority," the Estonian minister stressed, noting that Ukraine must continue to be helped for as long as it needs, as much as it needs and as quickly as it needs.
"What's important now is increasing and picking up the speed of providing military aid to Ukraine, as well as ensuring the European Peace Facility's sustained and long-term support for Ukraine," he added.
The European Peace Facility (EPF) is an EU military aid instrument that has already allocated €2.5 billion to maintaining member states' defense capabilities as well as to replenishing military stocks that were provided in aid to Ukraine.
To date, decisions have been made on the distribution of the first €500 million, of which the EU will reimburse €135 million to Estonia.
At Tuesday's informal meeting, the defense ministers also discussed the European Commission's proposal on supporting EU member states' joint procurements for restoring critical military supplies.
"The EU can and should do more to support member states' investments into increasing defense capabilities," Pevkur said.
"Member states have donated a considerable part of their supplies toward helping Ukraine," he continued. "Now we need to direct extra efforts toward simultaneously continuing aid to Ukraine while maintaining member states' defense capabilities. In that, we expect speedy progress on the European Commission's proposed new instrument in the European Council."
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Editor: Aili Vahtla