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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: NATO Must Retain Its Defence Capability, Even in Economically Difficult Time


No. 403-E

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, who is currently participating in the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, both the USA and European allies must make vital decisions with regards to maintaining and increasing defence spending. “The Libya operation that began in spring and was successfully completed in summer demonstrated the need for the alliance to maintain a certain level of capability. Although NATO managed to continue all its other operations and activities during that time, it’s clear that the allies cannot just rest on their laurels,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

Foreign Minister Paet said that Estonia’s decision to increase its defence spending to over 2% of its GDP has earned a positive response from our allies. “However, many other countries have reduced their defence spending over the past few years. This trend must be stopped – budgetary decisions should not be made at the expense of defence funding,” said Paet. “It should actually be the other way around – there are many changes happening in today’s world, many of them far from positive, and therefore NATO member states must take a serious look at their defence budgets,” he added.

Foreign Minister Paet emphasised that the economically complicated times require smart thinking and smart defence from NATO member states. “One good example of smart defence is the Baltic air policing mission, which should continue in the future,” he added.



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