Government agrees Russia is 'main threat' to Estonia's security
Estonia's updated National Security Concept, which states Russia is the country's 'main threat' and raises defense spending, was approved by the Riigikogu on Wednesday.
The strategic framework unequivocally states that the main threat to Estonia's security comes from Russia.
It also says defense spending must rise to at least 3 percent of GDP and provide funding for Estonia hosting its allies.
The document also requires that the national budget strategy must ensure permanent funding for the development of civil protection to ensure the functioning of society as a whole in all possible crises.
It passed with 46 votes in favor.
Prime Minister Kallas (Reform) said she was pleased the concept was passed because, in today's security environment, "cross-party consensus is a very important message to send out both to our own people and internationally".
"It is a clear signal that we need to do more, and more quickly, to bolster military defense and broaden national defense, both on our own and with our allies and partners. Russia's full-scale war of aggression in Ukraine demonstrates the scale of the threats Estonia and the free world are facing," she said in a statement.
Kallas said that adaptation to the worsened security environment is already underway.
"Estonia has raised its defense spending to historically high levels," she explained.
"In 2022 we allocated more than €1.2 billion in additional funding to military defence, and this year defence spending will exceed €1 billion by 2.85 percent. Last year we also increased the salary fund of the Ministry of the Interior by more than €50 million for 2023. And for the first time, targeted funding was given to civil protection in 2022."
The updated National Security Concept of Estonia is based on a broad approach to security. It is updated every four years.
In addition to defense, it includes the cohesion of society and the resilience of the state, economic security, vital services, internal security, as well as international activities.
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Editor: Helen Wright