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Minister hails intensifying Estonia-Poland defensive cooperation

Hanno Pevkur (right) with his Polish counterparty  Władysław Kosiniak-Kamyszi in Warsaw last week.
Hanno Pevkur (right) with his Polish counterparty Władysław Kosiniak-Kamyszi in Warsaw last week. Source: Ministry of Defense

Poland and Estonia continue to be trailblazers in both support for Ukraine and in their own defense spending and procurement, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) says.

"As nations on NATO's Eastern Flank, we have a common understanding of the potential threats and defensive needs, and of support for Ukraine," the minister said on Friday.

Minister Pevkur was speaking after meeting new Minister of Defense of Poland, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, in Warsaw last week.

The pair discussed bilateral and regional defense cooperation and the continuation of military aid to Ukraine.

"For instance, we currently have Polish fighter jets based at Ämari securing our airspace, and just last week Piorun short-range air defense systems, acquired via a Estonia-Poland joint procurement, reached us," he continued.

Minister Pevkur said that the one million projectile pledge to Ukraine, and ways to make this happen including at EU level, was also on the table

"In a war of attrition, ammunition is of decisive importance - everyone must live up to their pledges," Pevkur added.

For both ministers it was also somewhat of a reunion, Pevkur noted. Both had served as social affairs ministers of their respective countries, around 13 years ago, he said.

It was also a pleasure to thank my colleague for the continued, great defense cooperation between Poland and Estonia, which has been intensifying in recent years."

The previous administration in Poland significantly upped defense spend and large-scale defense procurement, as has been the case in Poland.

For 2024, Poland is set to spend 4.2 percent of GDP per annum on defense, up from 2023's figure of 3.9 percent, and the country has provided aid to Ukraine, which it borders, worth over €4 billion, 0.68 percent of the country's GDP.

The new Polish government took office on December 13, with former president of the European Council Donald Tusk returning as prime minister.

Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz is also chair of coalition partner the Polish People's Party (PSL).

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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