Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) will shortly present the next military aid package for Ukraine to the government. According to a Ministry of Defence press release, the package will include artillery shells, anti-tank ammunition, winter uniforms and personal protective equipment,
"Through mobilization, nuclear threats, sham referendums and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories, Russia is escalating the war. There can only be one response from Estonia – continuing (the provision) of aid to Ukraine with the objective of helping Ukraine win the war," said Pevkur in a Ministry of Defense press release.
"This next package will include artillery ammunition, anti-tank ammunition, winter uniforms, and armored vests, which are among Ukraine's most urgent needs at the moment. Ukraine winning the war will also increase Estonia's security," said Pevkur.
"The decision to support Ukraine today reduces Russian's ability to behave erratically in our region (in the future)," he explained.
"When providing aid, our guiding principle is that our own defense capabilities must be ensured at all times. That is why we are, above all, looking at equipment that is either in line for replacement in the near future, or which can be replaced easily," said Pevkur.
According to the ministry, the anti-tank weaponry Estonia is set to supply to Ukraine, had already been earmarked for an upgrade, with the first deliveries of new weapons systems due in December.
Likewise, the personal protective equipment being sent to Ukraine comes from the Defense League's stocks, which in 3-5 months will be replenished with newer, more up-to-date versions.
The ministry highlighted, that it is not only equipment which is important for Ukraine, with Estonia also providing training for Ukrainian artillery troops, who are on the battlefield today. An additional training program for reservists is currently at the development stage, with a specialized program for medics also in the pipeline.
To date, Estonia has provided over €255 million in military aid to Ukraine, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, howitzers, anti-tank mines, anti-tank grenade launchers, mortars, ammunition, vehicles, communication devices, medical equipment and supplies, personal protective equipment as well as military food rations.
According to the press release, Estonia will recoup €135 million of this outlay from the European Peace Facility, which is almost a third of the €500 million reimbursed to all European countries combined.
The ministry said, that this decision demonstrates how highly the EU values providing support to Ukraine. At the same time, the funds will contribute significantly to the maintenance of Member States' individual defense capabilities, as well as replenish weapons stocks.
In cooperation with Germany, Estonia has also donated two field hospital and medical equipment to Ukraine at a total cost of €10 million. The second hospital reached Ukraine in September, with the project also benefitting from €120,000 raised by Estonian-based NGO "Slava Ukraini."
Editor: Michael Cole