Baltic ministers of defence agreed on joint ammo procurement

Today, at the meet­ing at Ämari Air Base, the Min­is­ters of Defence of the Baltic States agreed on a joint ammu­ni­tion pro­cure­ment, on con­tribut­ing a joint unit to the NATO Response Force, and on increas­ing the HNS-pack­age for the Baltic air polic­ing mis­sion.

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Min­is­ters of Defence Urmas Rein­salu, Artis Pabriks and Rasa Juknevičienė reached agree­ment that this year the Baltic States will under­take joint ammu­ni­tion pro­cure­ment for the Carl Gustaf recoil­less rifle.

Min­is­ter of Defence Rein­salu said that in these eco­nom­i­cal­ly dif­fi­cult times, Esto­nia, Latvia and Lithua­nia have to be smart in their spend­ing. “The joint ammu­ni­tion pro­cure­ment helps to save taxpayer’s mon­ey in each of the Baltic States because a larg­er quan­ti­ty means a small­er price. This pro­cure­ment will ensure that our Defence Forces have the ammu­ni­tion reserves nec­es­sary to increase our defence capa­bil­i­ty,” said Rein­salu.

It was also agreed that in 2016 Esto­nia, Latvia and Lithua­nia will con­tribute at least one joint bat­tal­ion-sized unit to the NATO Response Force (NRF). The Baltic States also con­tributed a joint bat­tal­ion to the NRF in 2010.

The Min­is­ters of Defence also decid­ed to increase the joint HNS-pack­age for the Baltic air polic­ing mis­sion from the cur­rent EUR 2.2 mil­lion to EUR 5 mil­lion annu­al­ly in 2015. Funds of the HNS-pack­age will be used to pay, in part, for the fuel used by allied fight­er air­craft, and for the hous­ing and trans­port costs of allied troops.

Accord­ing to Min­is­ter of Defence Rein­salu, it is clear that the Baltic States would not have the finan­cial means to devel­op their own fight­er air­craft capa­bil­i­ty. “There­fore EUR 5 mil­lion annu­al­ly, com­bined for all three Baltic States, is a rea­son­able amount to spend on the secu­ri­ty of our air­space. A decent HNS-pack­age also shows us as reli­able allies and makes the air polic­ing mis­sion even more attrac­tive,” explained the Eston­ian Min­is­ter of Defence.

Rein­salu, Pabriks and Juknevičienė were also giv­en a tour this morn­ing of Ämari Air Base, and at the end of the meet­ing they signed a joint com­mu­niqué.

Before noon, the Min­is­ters of Defence of the Baltic States also met at Ämari Air Base with Zbig­niew Włosow­icz, the Pol­ish Deputy Min­is­ter for Defence Pol­i­cy, to dis­cuss ques­tions relat­ing to the secu­ri­ty of the Baltic Sea region and the future of NATO.

Rein­salu, Pabriks and Juknevičienė also met with Gen­er­al Håkan Syrén, Chair­man of the Euro­pean Union Mil­i­tary Com­mit­tee, who was vis­it­ing Esto­nia.

The meet­ing of the Min­is­ters of Defence of the Baltic States takes place twice a year. The next meet­ing will take place this win­ter, in Latvia.

Eston­ian Min­istry of Defence