TALLINN - The Estonian government held an exercise on Thursday that focused on raising the overall defense capability.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that it's essential for every composition of the government to practice acting as a team in various crisis situations.
"The current government took office at the height of the health crisis, and dealing with it is a daily task for us, during which we have gained valuable experience in resolving a civilian crisis," Kallas said.
"At the same time, other threats, aside from civilian crises, that may affect Estonia's security and the security of our citizens should not be forgotten. Therefore, I consider it important that the government was able also to deal with matters of threat management in a national defense situation during the exercise that took place against the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic," the premier said in a press release.
According to Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet, one must always be ready to defend the country and increase the readiness for defense.
"Increased defense readiness is part of the first steps that every country must be ready to take when the threat level rises," Laanet said.
"At today's exercise, the government discussed ways to ensure the protection of the state, including by increasing the level of defense readiness, and how to deploy reserves, land areas, impose national defense duties, and what impact increasing the level of defense readiness will have on the organization of the everyday life of Estonian residents," the minister explained.
At this year's exercise, the government discussed raising defense readiness across the country. Following the declaration of increased defense readiness, relevant authorities and persons will, in addition to their core activities, start making preparations for countering the threat to the country.
The government holds exercises on a regular basis, they are planned in advance and usually take place once a year. The purpose of government exercises is to rehearse decision-making in a complex civilian or security crisis.