TALLINN - Magnus-Valdemar Saar, the director general of the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (RKIK), and Dr. William A. LaPlante, the United States under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, last week signed a bilateral agreement at the NATO headquarters in Brussels that aims to strengthen mutual defense and security cooperation in ensuring supply security.
The arrangement is based on a principle of mutual voluntariness and allows both countries to prioritize the fulfillment of defense contracts to ensure the timely and efficient availability of urgent and critical supplies, RKIK said in a press release.
"In today’s security and economic environment, a continuous supply chain is central to ensuring military defense. It is gratifying to see that member states are cooperating closely to enhance supply security. This gives us confidence that all our recent major capability procurement projects will be timely delivered to our defense forces," Saar said.
"This is another example of the United States and Estonia’s great cooperation and commitment to mutual defense. It also underscores the planning and active approach the Estonian government takes to prepare its defense to address security concerns," George P. Kent, the US ambassador to Estonia, said.
The arrangement provides an opportunity to strengthen cooperation in the procurement of defense equipment and ensures the supply security of military materials and equipment both in times of peace and crisis. It also makes it possible to obtain more detailed information about the production schedules and supply plans for equipment and its components, which in turn provides the opportunity to prioritize more essential supplies over other orders if necessary.
Estonia is the fourteenth supply security arrangement partner of the United States. Other partners include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.