The U.S. will increase defense assistance spending to the Baltic states by 20 percent next year. Funding will total $225 million.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Congress presented the 2023 Government Funding Legislation which includes $350 million worth of support for countries affected by Russian aggression.
Of this, $225 million is allocated to the Baltic Security Initiative (BSI), the Ministry of Defense said in a statement. This is $45 million — 20 percent — more than last year.
Additionally, $140.5 million has been earmarked for Estonia under the FMF (Foreign Military Fund) grant which will mostly be used for the acquisition of HIMARS multiple rocket launcher systems. The ministry called this an "unprecedentedly large grant".
Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) said this is a "clear example of the USA's long-term and firm support for the Baltic states".
"We have made significant progress this year by increasing our defense spending and promoting the defense sector, and the US support will help us develop our independent defense capability even more," he said, in a statement.
The BSI was launched in 2020 and allows the U.S. to systematically support the development of independent defense capabilities and mutual interoperability of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Additionally, $35 million will be allocated to Poland, $30 million to Romania, $20 million to Bulgaria, $40 million to Georgia and $300 million to Ukraine.
Estonia also received $10.7 million from the European Commission under the military mobility project. This money will be used to improve reception capacity at Tallinn Airport.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright