NATO's new defense plans call for Estonia to be ready to welcome more allies. The new infrastructure will be largely paid for by NATO – Estonia receives about €50 million.
In order for Estonia to be ready for the reception of more allies, we must improve our infrastructure.
"The creation of reception areas in different locations, in addition to the organization and storage of ammunition transported by the allies; accommodation provisions adapted to accommodate visitors for longer stays. Fuel tanks that may require inspection, and so forth," Meelis Peterson, the head of NATO planning at the Ministry of Defense, said.
A large part of the cost will be reimbursed to Estonia by the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP).
The reinforcement package is currently being considered, and it will take into account how host countries can deploy allied units based on operational needs. We applied for around €40 million in funding for the reception of units, which has now been confirmed at around €50 million.
Estonia has applied for support under this program before and plans to do so again, Peterson said. However, this time the amount was unusually high. In comparison, the state spent €7.1 million on a single project to upgrade the allied reception area in Tapa.
"The new plans were adopted in Vilnius and with them came new needs. That's why we've got one of the biggest sums at the moment, which we'll develop here in a year's time," he said.
The NATO Security Investment Program has financed projects such as the Ämari airbase, the NATO headquarters in Tallinn, the Tapa Base and the Defense Forces Central Airbase. The funds received from this program exceed Estonia's contributions to NATO several times over.
Previously, Estonia received around €5 million a year from this program. In a couple of exceptional years, we received more than €20 million. This year, the support is significantly higher.
Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Kristina Kersa