Discussions about Western countries growing tired of the war in Ukraine are Russia's attempt at influencing opinions, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) said at the Warsaw Security Forum this week.
"We must maintain unity. As long as we can do so, we can outlast Putin and support Ukraine until the war is won. The talk of war fatigue in the West is part of Russia's attempt at influencing opinions and Putin's bluff – our message is clear: we are not tired, our unity and support will not falter, we will support Ukraine to the victorious end of the war," said Pevkur.
The minister reiterated that Estonia's defense spending is rising to 3.2 percent of GDP next year and will stay at over 3 percent for the foreseeable future.
He called on other countries to do more.
"Raising the defense budget by 1 percent of the GDP has been difficult, but we cannot choose our neighbors – Russia was, is, and will remain our greatest threat. Currently, 11 NATO countries invest more than 2 percent in defense. By the time of the NATO Summit in 2024, perhaps two-thirds of the Allies will have achieved this goal. However, the security situation demands that we all invest more in defense and without delay, because freedom is not free," he stressed.
On the sidelines of the conference, Pevkur met with Dutch Minister of Defense Kajsa Ollengren and Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson to discuss possibilities for cooperation.
The minister also met with Colonel Michal Malyska, Commander of the 3rd Brigade of the Polish Territorial Defense Forces, which is the main cooperation partner of the Estonian Defense League.
The pair discussed the possibilities for further deepening cooperation between the Defense League and the Polish Territorial Defense Forces.
Russia has strategically already lost the war in Ukraine. Now it is time to make this additional effort to help Ukrainian army kick aggressor out of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/V6DGZlHGtH— Hanno Pevkur (@HPevkur) October 4, 2023
Editor: Helen Wright