US to increase security assistance to Baltic states by 20%

  • 2022-12-21
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The US Congress disclosed on Tuesday the government funding legislation for 2023, the defense budget of which includes an allocation of 225 million US dollars as part of the Baltic Security Initiative, which is larger by 45 million dollars, or 20 percent, than in 2022.

In total, the United States will support countries that have been affected by Russia's aggression with 350 million dollars as part of its defense budget, according to the Estonian Ministry of Defense.

Support from the US Foreign Military Fund is unprecedentedly large this year, containing an allocation of 140.5 million euros for Estonia, which is close to 14 times more than previously. Said funds will largely be used for acquiring high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).

In addition to the Baltic states, support will also be allocated pursuant to Tuesday's decision to other states with 35 million dollars going to Poland, 30 million dollars to Romania, 20 million to Bulgaria and 40 million to Georgia. The funding is project-based and the implementation of projects will be coordinated by the United States European Command.

An additional sum of 300 million dollars will be allocated to Ukraine, pursuant to the US government funding legislation, in addition to the nine billion dollars that has already been made available to the country.

Created in 2020, the Baltic Security Initiative enables the United States to support the development of independent defense capabilities of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as their interoperability in a more systematic way. Last year, 169 million dollars was allocated to the Baltic states as part of the initiative.

With the US security assistance, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been able to implement several of their military infrastructure and capability-building projects faster than initially planned. The main focus has been on the development of special operations, air defense, ammunition stockpiles, marine situational awareness and long-range indirect fire capability.