In their meeting in Tallinn on Thursday, the secretary general of the Estonian Ministry of Defense, Kusti Salm, and his Finnish counterpart Esa Pulkkinen discussed defense cooperation between the two countries, the deepening of which is now also made possible by the accession of Finland to NATO.
“Defense cooperation between Estonia and Finland has been close for decades, but following Finland’s accession to NATO in April last year, more opportunities have emerged. Bilateral communication is close and we are like-minded,” Salm said according to spokespeople.
In addition to NATO related topics, the meeting discussed regional security, the threat from Russia, development of the defense industry and the need to continue assistance to Ukraine.
Salm detailed to his Finnish counterpart the victory strategy for Ukraine prepared by the Estonian Ministry of Defense, which, based on calculations, shows that in order to achieve victory for Ukraine and defeat for Russia, it would be sufficient for Ukraine’s supporters to allocate 0.25 percent of their gross domestic product per year to military aid.
“This can be realistically done if the will is there,” the Estonian official said.
Bilateral defense cooperation between Estonia and Finland began in the 1990s, when Finns, through their advisory programs and training of Estonian officers in Finnish military schools, gave a strong boost to the development of Estonia’s independent defense capabilities and the establishment of a modern conscription and reserve service system. In recent years, cooperation has been particularly close in the fields of training and joint procurement. Most recently, Estonia conducted a joint tender with Finland for the purchase of South Korean K9 self-propelled howitzers.
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