Estonian Defence Minister calls for more NATO funding to Ukraine

  • 2015-06-25
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, TALLINN

Estonia’s Minister of Defence, Sven Mikser, believes NATO member states should provide more funding to Ukraine, in order to prevent the situation in the country from developing to the extent whereby Russia could force Ukraine into complete economic ruin.

During a meeting in Brussels between Defence Ministers of NATO member states on June 25, 2015, NATO’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, stated the organisation wishes to see a strong, independent and financially secure Ukraine. 

“We will help Ukraine in reforming its armed forces, as well as the building of national defence institutions,” said Stoltenberg. “We will also support the country with cyber defence and logstistics.” 

Stoltenberg then noted NATO has already established five trust funds, the latest of which “will concentrate on demining and countering improvised explosive devices.” 

According to Estonian daily newspaper, Eesti Paevaleht, Estonia’s Defence Minister, Sven Mikser, wishes to motivate fellow NATO member states into contributing more to Ukraine’s trust funds. 

Following the meeting, Mikser said the international community must understand the financial situation in Ukraine more than it already does. 

“The sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union are very clearly felt in Russia, but President Vladimir Putin believes the country can withstand them longer than Ukraine can withstand its current [economic] situation,” explained Mikser. “Therefore, it is important to provide Ukraine with financial assistance, in order to prevent that from happening.” 

Estonia already contributes to two of the five NATO trust funds helping Ukraine - the cyber defence fund, to which Estonia has pledged to contribute 100,000 euros, and the medical rehabilitation fund. 

By May 2015 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saw Ukraine’s economy shrink by 5.5 percent, while Exotix, a merchant bank specialising in emerging markets, predicted its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will have shrunk by almost 10 percent come the end of 2015.