Estonian defmin to Finnish colleague: Finland's NATO accession start of new era

  • 2023-01-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur discussed Finland's accession to NATO, sending additional military aid to Ukraine and bilateral defense cooperation with Finnish Defense Minister Mikko Savola at a meeting in Tallinn on Monday.

"We are living in a historic moment -- Finland's accession to NATO will usher in a new era, not only for the Baltic Sea region, but also for our bilateral defense cooperation," Pevkur was quoted by ministry spokespeople as saying.

"The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will significantly increase the security of our region, but it is not a magic wand that will solve all the security challenges of our region. In other words, this is only the beginning and although our defense cooperation with Finland has already been strong, it will move to the next level upon the northern neighbors' accession to NATO," Pevkur added.

The defense ministers also discussed sending additional aid to Ukraine. The Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which also includes Estonia and Finland, will meet this Friday in Ramstein, Germany.

"Both Estonia and Finland are preparing a new aid package and I was glad to hear that we are in agreement on helping Ukraine -- the next aid package to Ukraine must be as strong as possible and provide them the kind of help they need most at present," Pevkur said.

Finland has supported Ukraine through 11 aid packages with 300 million euros, of which the total value of military aid has been 190 million euros. The recovery value of the military aid provided by Estonia is more than 257 million euros.

In addition, the defense ministers discussed bilateral opportunities for cooperation in the defense industry and within the structure of the division to be created in Estonia.

Mikko Savola assumed office on Jan. 5 of this year. He was the chairman of the Estonian-Finnish friendship group in the Finnish parliament and is a member of the Finnish Center Party.