TALLINN - The Estonianparliament on Dec. 3 unanimously passed an amendment to the Defense ForcesService Act, increasing the social guarantees of soldiers who have fallen illor have been injured in service and their close relatives.
According to the amendment, members of the defense forces who have fallenill or have been wounded in the line of duty will be retroactively paid from May1, a monthly subsidy equal to the foreign mission pay.
Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said payment of the foreign missionremuneration to a member of the defense forces who has fallen ill or has beenwounded while on mission will currently stop after his return home, as a resultof which his income will fall considerably. According to the ammendment,soldiers will be ensured payment of the foreign mission remuneration until theend of the mission term, generally six months.
The act will also extend the leave given for the rehabilitation of a soldierwhile he is being paid service remuneration.
The package also inclucdes compensation to defense forces close relatives.
Since 2007, five Estoniansoldiers have been killed and 46 wounded while on a mission in Iraq orAfghanistan.