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Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who congratulated the Baltic Defense College for its 15th anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 27, said in his speech that the current events in Ukraine prove that the Baltic States have to do more in the state defense sphere, reports Public Broadcasting.
"The events in Ukraine show that this fight goes on inside Europe, too. This sends a clear message to Estonia and the Baltic Sea region: we have to do more in the state defense sphere. Sufficient defense expenditures continue to be very important from the point of view of our security – this is valid for both Estonia as well as Latvia and Lithuania," said Ilves.
The president stressed as his main message that NATO is trustworthy only as far as the member states of the alliance are trustworthy and responsible. "NATO's credibility in our region depends both on the readiness of other allies to defend us as well as the efforts of the Baltic States to spend money on their own defense," said Ilves.
He called the Baltic Defense College to speak up more in the regional security issues and increase the share of cyber and IT topics in the military education curriculum.
The Baltic Defense College (BALTDEFCOL) is a multi-lateral cooperative military college which educates officers from not only the three Baltic States, but also from NATO and EU states and other European states.
It was founded in 1999 by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with supporter states Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.