Estonia’s foreign minister stated that European countries should double their defense spending because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He stated that Russia plans to increase its national defense spending to 3% of GDP.
Urmas Reinsalu, the foreign minister of Ukraine, stated that this visit was to support Kyiv’s struggle to overcome power outages following a wave of drone attacks and missile attacks from Russia. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine.
He stated that European countries should increase their defense spending during and after the conflict with Ukraine. He stated, “We will spend 3% on national defense.”
Last week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said some members of the military alliance (including Estonia) might choose to spend more defense than the current target, which is 2%.
Many NATO allies have increased military spending since Russia invaded Ukraine in Feb.
Ukraine, even though it is not a NATO member has applied for membership. It has increasingly asked for Western support since Russian increased its missile strikes on the Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
Reinsalu stated, “The 27-nation European Union” (which also includes Estonia) should increase funding for Ukraine’s military support.
He said that 0.2% of the EU’s GDP has been contributed to military assistance to Ukraine. He stated, “I made a commitment to make a difference on ground and change course of war by pledging that I would reach 1%.”
Denys Shmyhal (the Ukrainian Prime Minister) wrote on Twitter that Reinsalu’s Monday visit with six other ministers included discussions regarding tightening EU sanctions as well as rebuilding Ukraine’s infrastructure. He also spoke of financial support and Ukraine’s “Euro-Atlantic aspirations”.
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