Foreign Minister Reinsalu: Allies must raise their defence spending to 2.5 percent

Foreign Minister Reinsalu: Allies must raise their defence spending to 2.5 percent

General view of the meeting

Speaking about preparations for the July NATO summit in Vilnius, Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu emphasised that just like Finland became a NATO member yesterday, the flags of Sweden and Ukraine must fly in front of the Alliance headquarters in the future, and this means Ukraine, currently defending itself against Russia, needs a clear accession perspective.

The ministers also talked about reinforcing NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, including implementing the decisions of last year’s Madrid summit. “NATO’s greatest security threat is Russia, which disregards all international agreements and principles, including nuclear safety,” Reinsalu said. “At today’s meeting, I called on Allies to increase their defence investment to at least 2 percent of GDP and set themselves the goal of reaching 2.5 percent by 2030. Estonia has a more ambitious goal and we plan to increase our defence spending to 3.2 percent of GDP by next year.”

Reinsalu underlined that it was time to annul the Founding Act signed in 1997 with Russia, aimed at advancing dialogue and European security. “Since February last year, Russia has been ignoring all principles of international law and is waging an inhuman war at the heart of Europe,” Reinsalu said. “Why keep the founding act in your drawer if it is no longer valid?”

They also spoke about the partnership of China and Russia, the challenges related to China and reducing the dependence of Allies on China.

NATO foreign ministers and Sweden met with their Asian and Pacific partners Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Ahead of the meeting, the foreign minister emphasised that the full-scale war in Ukraine affected the whole world, not just Europe. “We are grateful to our partners in Asia and the Pacific and value their contribution to raising the cost of the war for Russia and holding Russia accountable for the crimes committed in Ukraine,” he said.

“Estonia takes a broader view and this is why we are committed to NATO’s 360-degree approach to help fight terrorism and other security challenges,” Reinsalu said. “Early this year, Estonia decided to increase its contribution to the US-led operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq. Contributing to stability in the Middle East and the fight against terrorism with Allies also contributes to Estonia’s security.”


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