Estonia to boost defense spending to 2.5% of GDP

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Estonia to boost defense spending to 2.5% of GDP

Estonia will increase defense spending over the next four years to 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on average, Estonian Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said on Thursday, reported Xinhua.

The announcement came during a meeting here with her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

Estonia's current defense spending is at 2.3 percent of GDP, above the 2 percent level set by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

At a joint press conference after the meeting, Liimets said Estonia has provided Ukraine with humanitarian aid worth nearly 15 million euros.

Baerbock, in her turn, said Germany has decided on a formal budget of 1 billion euros to support military equipment for Ukraine.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas also met with Baerbock to discuss the situation in Ukraine, as well as the NATO Summit planned for June 2022 in Madrid, Spain.

However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Wednesday that NATO member countries are doing their utmost to prolong the armed conflict in Ukraine.

NATO countries are increasing supplies of military equipment, weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, and pushing Kiev to continue its "aggression" against Donbass, Zakharova said at her weekly briefing.

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