TALLINN - Estonian Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet met with his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist in Gotland on Wednesday to discuss defense cooperation between the two states in the changed security situation, discussions at the meeting concerned regional security more broadly, the need to increase defense spending and develop various capabilities, and various developments in NATO and the European Union.
"Sweden's and Estonia's perceptions of security risks, especially in the Baltic Sea region and the current aggression in Ukraine, largely overlap. The need for credible deterrence in the Baltic Sea region is now clear to everyone. Like Estonia, Sweden takes the changed security situation extremely seriously, for example, by increasing the share of defense spending in the state budget and thereby strengthening its defense capabilities. A stronger Sweden also means a stronger Estonia -- greater defense capability by Sweden increases the level of deterrence in the Baltic Sea and thereby also improves Estonia's security," Laanet said.
Discussions at the meeting also included the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine that has now lasted for 28 days.
"Assistance to Ukraine through armaments and humanitarian aid, as well as trade embargoes and sanctions, are currently the most important international means for Ukraine to resist Putin's aggression. Estonia has already provided 222 million euros' worth of military and humanitarian aid, the lion's share of which is armaments," Laanet said.
As part of his visit, the Estonian defense minister with his Swedish counterpart also visited the Gotland Regiment and laid a wreath at the monument to boat refugees in Slite.