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NATO, Kaja Kallas |  Estonia’s Prime Minister asks NATO countries to increase their defense budgets

NATO, Kaja Kallas | Estonia’s Prime Minister asks NATO countries to increase their defense budgets

They will spend 3.2 percent of GDP on defense next year.

“This is something I encourage among NATO countries,” Kallas says.

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Other Baltic countries also spend more money on defence.

– Consider 1988 when NATO members spent more than 1% of their GDP on defense. Why? Because they thought the father was real. But the risk is greater now than it was during the Cold War, because the war has returned to Europe, Callas says.

A clear message from Stoltenberg

Kalas has the support of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who previously stated that NATO countries should spend more money. Ahead of the NATO summit in Vilnius this summer, NATO noted that only eleven of the alliance’s 31 member states had met the 2023 target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defence.

The Secretary-General said: We expect this number to rise significantly next year.

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Stoltenberg was clear that 2% of GDP should be considered a floor and not a ceiling.

– 2% is the minimum to achieve its obligations as a NATO ally, as the NATO Secretary General said earlier.

Loyal supporter

Estonia has stood firmly by Ukraine since Russia decided to launch a large-scale invasion of Ukraine last February. It also served as the driving force for the European Union to impose sanctions against the Russians. Last summer, the country decided to close its borders to Russian tourists.

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– Russian citizens continue to travel to Europe in large numbers. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said that visiting Europe via Estonia contradicts the goal of the sanctions we have adopted.

Estonia also spent a lot of money in donations to Ukraine, which were measured in krone and euro. An overview from the Kiel Institute, published this summer, shows Estonia has given donations worth 1.3% of GDP.

Norway supports Ukraine

  • Norway gave Ukraine $10.7 billion in support in 2022 and in 2023 promised $75 billion in support over five years through the Nansen programme.
  • So far this year, Norway has distributed about NOK 18.5 billion from the Nansen programme. About 10 billion went to military support, while about 8.5 billion went to civil and humanitarian support.
  • According to the Kiel Institute, Norway promised support worth 1.7 percent of gross national product, the largest number in the world. Then follow Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark and Poland.
  • The Kiel Institute says Europe has now outpaced the United States in supporting Ukraine relative to its GDP.
  • Norway is the country that provided the fourth largest military support to Ukraine in terms of krone and rial after the USA, Germany and Great Britain.

Source: Government, Kiel Institute.