The state needs warships, helicopters and coastal radar network
Estonia lacks an exhaustive image of what is happening in its territorial waters. Maritime defence is fragmented between three institutions, which can perform only a small amount of approximately fifty tasks, Estonia’s first detailed maritime security report reveals.
27.12.2016, Oliver KundPM
Editorial: Estonians up in arms
Estonia has above 27,000 weapons owners in possession of some 68,000 hunting, sports and self defence guns. Initial applications for permits are sharply up this year with six month figures exceeding 2012 and nearly equaling 2013 totals. The reasons vary from the EU trend towards toughening gun laws to the added sense of security.
Editorial: don't sell security for pottage of lentiles
The closer the NATO summit in Warsaw, the more abundant the Kremlin propaganda and – somewhat surprisingly – the repeating of like messages by our own people. Such are not many, however, as seen in answers by entrepreneurs interviewed in Postimees today.
Eerik-Niiles Kross: Brexit significantly worsens security situation
Short-term, Brexit will surely and significantly worsen the security situation; possibly, the long-term security situation will deteriorate in all of Northern Europe, writes Riigikogu member Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform Party).
28.06.2016, Eerik-Niiles KrossPM
Hanso: Kremlin itself is turning Ukraine into a Western nation
In Brussels yesterday, defence minister Stepan Poltorak faced the press after the NATO-Ukraine committee session. The first question, a sharp one, was by a countryman: «Isn't controversial that our army is being reformed by the same people who ruined it for 24 years?»
16.06.2016, Evelyn KaldojaPM
NATO waving a red rag under nose of Russia
No threat to Russia militarily speaking, the US battalions in Baltics would irritate the Kremlin by their mere presence at Russian border. In response, just to flex muscles, the latter may move over its most modern armaments.
30.05.2016, Jaanus PiirsaluPM
Editorial: game of drones in sky, media, and minds
No surprise that Russia wants to affect us. What matters most is reaction in the society.
Editorial: the outcome of Russia's crazy game
Referring to US deputy defence secretary Robert Work, The Wall Street Journal wrote on April 29th that in response to Russian aggressiveness NATO would boost its presence in Baltics and Poland by four battalions i.e. a contingent of 4,000 men. This still is too little when compared to Russian western military district of up to 350,000 men or the close to 100,000 of troops who have in recent years participated in exercises on Russia's western edge. Much more important, however, is the message therewith sent to Kremlin.
NATO advised to boost presence on Baltic Sea
The Defence Committee of the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) commissioned ICDS to conduct a study on the strategic balance in the Baltic Sea region with aim to contribute, in the run up to the Warsaw Summit, to the discussion on the optimum Alliance military posture in the region. Underneath find its assumptions, findings and recommendations.
19.04.2016, Henrik Praks, Director of ABCDPM
RAND analyst says new attacks in Europe likely
We are in times of adaptation where European nations, having underspent on security for the past 25 years must begin to take the new risks seriously, RAND analyst Christopher Chivvis tells Postimees in interview. During that time, new terrorist attacks are extremely probable.
05.04.2016, Evelyn KaldojaPM
Wind farms interfering with military radar images
Defence ministry has declined to okay plans for many a wind park in Estonia as turbine blades interfere with image in air surveillance radars. Officials say best spots for parks, with national defence in view, are Pärnu and Viljandi Counties.
03.03.2016, Andres EinmannPM
Editorial: the art of reading reports restfully
Of the report of the US think-tank Rand Corporation the slogan-like idea stood out that Russia may take Baltics by blitzkrieg if it so desires. Let such reports be read with an attitude of rest, though – carefully and thoughtfully while not overly dramatizing the details regarding conclusions drawn.
NATO squeezed by Kaliningrad bottleneck
Predicting occupation of Tallinn and Riga in less than 60 hours, a RAND Corporation report does underestimate Estonian defence capacity but points out the cold hard facts of gaping holes in deterrence capability of the Baltics which they believe need to be fixed latest by NATO summit in Warsaw.
16.02.2016, Oliver KundN24
Koduspaa iluhoolitsuste ABC: meeli paitavad ilurituaalid
Külmal ajal vajame kallistusi! Samamoodi nagu keha tasub pakkida soojade kampsikute kaissu, võiks meeli hellitada koduste spaarituaalidega. Usu – see on lihtsaim tee õnnetundeni!
06.02.2016, Kristina HerodesPM
Estonia allots €40m to house allies
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said the government is allotting a total of €40m in 2015–2019 for the accommodation of allied troops. In this year alone, the state intends to invest €10.1m.
Editorial: allied armour not enough
The two words ardently uttered along with NATO are «deterrence» and «capability». Sound like legalese, but do carry weight.
10-12 tanks added to Pskov Air Assault division
The 76th Guards Air Assault Division in Pskov, Russia and immediate vicinity of Estonia gets boosted by a tank unit. Experts say security of Estonia is thereby under no greater threat.
02.02.2016, Jaanus PiirsaluPM
Driver killed in taxi robbery
Yesterday morning near Pulli Village, Pärnu County taxi driver Lembit (65) was found dead having fallen victim of taxi robbery Sunday night. The suspects, young men aged 18 and 20, were held by police in Lithuania.
02.02.2016, Martin LainePM
Estonia-Norway combat vehicle deal triggers war of words
The recent decision to purchase 37 combat vehicle hulls from Norway has turned acrimonious as the enterprise beaten at procurement accuses defence ministry of large scale waste of taxpayer money. To refute the accusations, ministry agreed to disclose details.
25.01.2016, Oliver KundPM
Editorial: with NATO, or without?
These past years, Russia has not shown itself the trustworthiest of neighbours. As a result, the nations near it are seeking additional guarantees of security.
Editorial: the Estonian arms countdown
Interior ministry is circulating a Weapons Act amendment among other things intended to limit self protection guns owned by individuals.
Multiple gun ban backfires
Gun owners are indignant. A fresh bill would limit firearms for self defence to one forcing 2,645 people to sell the rest. Shooting sportsmen would suffer. So the working group led by interior minister yesterday decided the plan is binned.
08.01.2016, Oliver Kund
Jalgsi Eurotunneli läbinud migrant sai Suurbritannias asüüli
Suurbritannia andis asüüli Sudaani immigrandile, kes kõndis jalgsi läbi Eurotunneli Prantsusmaalt Inglismaale.
Ministry wants to allow one gun only for self defence
Till this day, Estonia features no limits on owning guns to protect oneself and assets. Now, interior ministry is preparing a bill prescribing one firearm only for personal safety – a pistol or revolver.
28.12.2015, Liis VelskerPM
The cyberspace arms race
Partly because of a year filled with cyber attacks by ISIS, military cyber units keep popping up in nations of Europe. Estonia not a target thus far, experts see no need to amend local law.
30.11.2015, Oliver KundPM
Editorial: Europe headed towards collective defence
Right after the tragic Friday, it was obvious that France was not going to be left alone in fighting ISIS. Meanwhile, the way military assistance is being provided sets a presedence and may lead towards improved defence cooperation in European Union.
Estonia eyes engagement against ISIS
At defence ministry, ideas have been put into writing regarding Estonia's options between three likely foreign missions looming. A scenario would take our soldiers back to Iraq, to train combatants fighting Islamic State.
26.10.2015, Oliver KundPM
Rising defence spending in all of NATO looks unlikely
Though members of NATO pledged last fall to increase their defense spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic products by 2024, it is unrealistic to assume that this goal will ever be reached by all 28 allies, says Carnegie Europe head Jan Techau.
19.10.2015, Evelyn KaldojaPM
Editorial: Europe, pay up for your defence
At NATO summit in Wales a year ago, all 28 members vowed to boost defence spending to a minimum of 2 percent of gross domestic produce in ten years. Think-tank Carnegie Europe's analysis «The Politics of 2 Percent: NATO and the Security Vacuum in Europe» compiled for its first anniversary finds the hope all reach the goal is overly optimistic. The analysis underlines the thus greater need to focus on what Europe needs to do to fill the vacuum.
Hannes Hanso «embarrassed» that soc dems wanted to cut defence spending
Defence minister Hannes Hanso (44 today, Soc Dems) says the main near term aim is finding a new deputy chancellor for the ministry, and a new chief for Information Board. As for anti-refugee statements by servicemen, he wants to put an end to that.
06.10.2015, Oliver KundPM
Editorial: what do we christen this Budget?
Each fall, politicians and at times even observers are seeking a name for the state budget to sum up its fundamental features, or flaws. This time, both pros and cons will be hard pressed as substantial surprises are difficult to detect.
Estonian firm presents unmanned military hybrid
Estonia is gradually developing domestic defence industry: at DSEI exhibition in London yesterday, defence technology developer AS Milrem presented first unmanned military crawler propelled by hybrid engine.
16.09.2015, Aivar PauPM
USA seeks ways to boost Baltic defence
The swampy Baltic terrain, outdated international agreements, bottlenecks in transit roads and holes in defence capacity make it difficult to move military units here, lists the US defence ministry's journal Stars and Stripes in an article published last Friday, citing reasons for updating the Baltic defence strategy.
08.09.2015, Jürgen TammePM
Editorial: the end of a blunder. Kremlin gets no Mistrals
Thankfully, the years of suspense around the France-Russia warship sales deal have come to an end. The vessels will never go to Putin's aggressive regime. Praise be to the Frenchmen, for finding a solution to the mess made by previous president.
Mihkelson finds fault with NATO communication
Riigikogu's National Defence Committee chairman Marko Mihkelson (IRL) sees communication glitch in not being informed about changes regarding numbers of NATO fighters in Baltics and Poland though the decision was taken as early as this spring.
07.08.2015, Andres EinmannPM
NATO hävitajad teevad täna Eesti kohal madallende
Täna teevad Eesti õhuruumis madallende brittide kaks hävitajat Eurofighter Typhoon ja Eesti õhuväe kopter Robinson R44.
15.07.2015, Piret LaksonPM
Defenders of Estonia to be paid better
Though precious little was left in coalition treaty of what parties promised the voters during elections, the plan to raise salaries and benefits is so costly that part of activities may have to be postponed, admits defence minister Sven Mikser (Soc Dems).
20.04.2015, Oliver KundPM
Jarmo Mäkelä: secret defence policy deal sealed between Finnish parties
Heads of Finnish political parties have agreed regarding defence policy different than thus far presented to public, Finish journalist Jarmo Mäkelä tells Estonian Newspaper Association conference this Thursday.
10.04.2015, Jarmo MäkeläPM
Editorial: Finland changing course
Today’s Postimees features an opinion article by Finnish journalist Jarmo Mäkelä casting some light on changes weighty in the context of the fast-approaching general elections in Finland, yet unnoticed by the public. Turns out, a greater than expected agreement has emerged among leading Finnish politicians regarding defence policy – including the issue of drawing nearer to NATO.
Editorial: the future army of Europe
The idea of EU army by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on pages of German Die Welt was nothing new, really. From time to time, the topic has been debated. Even by Mr Juncker himself, the army was in general terms mentioned in opinion article published by Postimees, in May 2014: «The strongest of soft powers cannot for a longer period operate without defence capacities at least to a degree integrated. By Lisbon treaty, members states who so desire are awarded the option to unite their defence capacity into permanent cooperation structure.»
In issues of security, unity
Reform chairman Taavi Rõivas said that they, Soc Dems, IRL and the Free stand united regarding vital importance of allied relations in NATO as well as enhancing capacity of Estonian national defence. Thus, the coalition discussions on security and defence proved harmonious.
10.03.2015, Karin KangroE24
Odav nafta võib pärssida Venemaa relvaeksporti
Venemaa eksportis eelmisel aastal relvi 10 miljardi dollari eest, kuid sel aastal võivad odav nafta ja lääne sanktsioonid relvaeksporti pidurdada, kirjutab Moscow Times viitega IHS Aerospace, Defence & Security analüütikute andmetele.
Defence League wants more guns in homes
Headquarters of the Defence League is trying to reverse the trend of members opting not to keep firearms at home. To accomplish that, they have purchased loads of weapons safes and set it as aim to have lion’s share of those with weapons permits keeping guns and ammunition handy where they dwell.
04.02.2015, Oliver KundPM
Estonia achieves absolute radar coverage
No escaping now for flying objects 500 kilometres away and 30 kilometres high, thanks to radar station towering on top of Tõikamäe Hill in Otepää Nature Park. Hereby, Estonia’s entire air traffic is guarded nice and tight.
28.01.2015, Risto MetsPM
National defence better off without resounding election promises
Wonderful with national defence raised to central issue in elections, says Commander of the Defence Forces Major-General Riho Terras. Even so, his advice would be to abstain from expensive and emotional spur-of-the-moment decisions in national defence as Estonian is not in war not even close to one.
09.01.2015, Oliver KundPM
USA to pour $25m into Ämari Air Base
Among other allotments, 2015 budget for US Armed Forces earmarks close to $25m for structures at Ämari, Estonia. Latvia and Lithuanian are due a bit less than that, over $10m and $13m respectively for air bases in Lielvarde and Šiauliai.
22.12.2014, Evelyn KaldojaPM
Editorial: Ämari sees fulfilment of Obama promise
While visiting Estonia, the US President Barack Obama announced plans to create at Ämari an US-Baltic-Nordic air force training centre. By then, negotiations over the essence of the near $1bn NATO programme supporting European allies had been going on for months. By now, details of said programme have reached the 2015 budget of US armed forces and, of that, about $25m are earmarked as investments into Ämari.
Allied forces to remain in Estonia
Yesterday’s NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels was the first after the alliance’s September summit in Wales. While three months back the vision was laid down to strengthen collective defence, yesterday an overview was provided on advancement thus far.
03.12.2014, Jürgen TammePM
Prime Minister drags Defence Forces into politics
In Estonia yesterday, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg met at Ämari Air Base with local servicemen and Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform Party, RE), but defence minister Sven Mikser (soc dems, SDE) was not invited – due to opposition by prime minister and his team, we hear. Also, Mr Stoltenberg festively met with President Toomas Henrik Ilves and foreign minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (RE). The meeting with Mr Mikser got scheduled last of all.
21.11.2014, Liisa TagelPM
Govt allocates EUR 8.4 mln for national defense
The Estonian government on Thursday decided to allocate 8.4 million euros from the reserve for urgent and one-time national defense expenses.
Conscript hospitalised by explosives
A month ago, a conscript at Kuperjanov Infantry Battalion was hospitalised due to injuries by an explosives package going off.
19.11.2014, Toomas RandloPM
Jürgen Ligi became the Chairman of the National Defence Committee
Former Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi was elected the Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu, and Aivar Riisalu was re-elected the Deputy Chairman.
Lawyer for Kohver hands FSB new materials
Yesterday, Eston Kohver’s defence lawyer claimed he failed to receive all documents from Estonia needed to help prove his client’s innocence.
28.10.2014, Jaanus PiirsaluPM
Editorial: prioritizing security or political comfort?
Yesterday, Riigikogu gathered to ponder the vital state level issue of «Altered Security Situation in Europe». In their reports, foreign affairs committee head Marko Mihkelson, foreign minister Urmas Paet and defence minister Sven Mikser rather richly painted a picture of the current security political situation, and Estonia in it. The focus was on Russia’s aggressive politics, while touching upon other stuff from radical Islam to Ebola.
US armoured unit enters service in Estonia
United States of America 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Brigade, 8th Cavalry Regiment’s mechanised infantry company has entered service on Estonian soil. By ceremony at 1st Infantry Brigade at Tapa, the unit replaced US 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team – in Estonia since spring.
09.10.2014, Andres EinmannPM
Retired KGB General: Kohver case unheard-of in security service history
Aleksei Kondaurov, a general retired from the Soviet-time intelligence agency KGB, finds not much political sense in the apprehension of and espionage-accusations against the Estonian security officer Eston Kohver even if he was caught on the Russian side as claimed by Russian security service FSB.
25.09.2014, Jaanus PiirsaluPM
Russian planes straying into foreign airspace
Five times this year, warplanes from Russian Federation have entered airspace of Estonia.
23.09.2014, Toomas RandloPM
Ilves and Obama: situation substantially altered since Russia-NATO agreement
As acknowledged by Presidents of Estonia and the USA Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Barack Obama at joint Tallinn press conference, the security situation has clearly changed since the NATO-Russia base agreement was entered in 1997.
03.09.2014, Andres EinmannPM
Obama says USA «dedicated to defend Estonia»
In Tallinn press conference with Estonian counterpart Toomas Hendrik Ilves, US President Barack Obama said Estonia will never stand alone again. The United States of America dedicates itself to defend Estonia’s security, said the President.
03.09.2014, Andres EinmannPM
Govt counts money for public pay rise
A testing stone for the coalition, at its initial joint talks about next year budget today, will be allocation of public servant wage rises.
02.09.2014, Tuuli KochPM
Estonia gives Kurds a million cartridges
To support Iraqi Kurds in their fight against the violently militant Islamic State, Estonia donates one million machine gun cartridges made for weapons of Soviet origin.
29.08.2014, Andres EinmannPM
Mart Laar: we really ought to have resisted Russia, back in 1939...
The aim of history might rather be to understand, not to condemn. As to decisions taken in 1939, the again-independent Estonia has – by her behaviour and practice – awarded an assessment. Even so, in order to understand history, we still need the answers to a whole host of questions regarding the options in these days of long ago, writes Mart Laar, historian and former Prime Minister of Estonia (IRL).
28.08.2014, Mart LaarPM
Estonia to establish digital embassies
While cyber-defence strategy was being created, a plan emerged to create backup of data and services vital for the state to function – in servers located in friendly countries.
27.08.2014, Kalev AasmäePM
Defence Forces launch large-scale removals
Reform means new workplace for some 300 servicemen and civilian staff mostly moving from Paldiski to Tapa.
25.08.2014, Oliver KundPM
US tanks and fighting vehicles coming to Estonia, in October
In October, the United States of America are sending a ground troops company into Estonia, the equipment of which includes tanks and infantry fighting machines.
Russia-West relations a reminder of Cold War
In the two initial days of this week, relations between Russia and the West fell to a low last seen in mid-1980ies.
31.07.2014, Tõnis OjaPM
In time of war, Prime Minister to take the wheel
The National Defence Act bill now under approval procedures will set up Prime Minister as the one in command. The current foundations for defending Estonia are considered obsolete and even comparable to arrangements preceding WW2.
23.07.2014, Kaspar JõgevaPM
Editorial: the mythologies of May
Yesterday, the West celebrated 69 since end of WW2 battles, in Europe. Memorial services were also held in Estonia. At Maarjamäe Memorial in Tallinn, a representative of the government laid wreaths in honour of those the war took. Servicemen of the Defence Forces thus also honoured the fallen among the Red Army at the military graveyard, also decorating with wreaths the Nazi victims’ memorial at Rahumäe Jewish Cemetery.
Liam Fox: defence deals with Moscow are unwise
Russians need to be protected by the laws of the countries they dwell in and not by Russia, underlined recent British Defence Secretary and current ruling Conservative Party MP Liam Fox in interview to Postimees while in Tallinn yesterday for a speaking engagement.
08.05.2014, Evelyn KaldojaPM
USA longing for arrival of other allies in Baltics
James J. Townsend, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy, notes that American diplomats covering the area have been a lot busier that they knew to expect just some three-four months ago.
25.04.2014, Evelyn KaldojaPM
Editorial: time for Estonia to cash its NATO checks
Arrival of US 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team – 150 soldiers – into Estonia, to be rotated till the end of year at least, is a strong sign for sure. Up to now, the defence alliance has avoided permanent Western presence, unwilling to provoke Kremlin.
Ilves bought a liver leaf badge to support veterans
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, has joined the Salute Them charity campaign, which was launched today, by purchasing liver leaf badges for himself and his family from members of the Women's Home Defence to support the veterans of the Defence Forces and the Defence league and their next of kin.
Estonia to boost mobility of ground forces
Over the next four years, Estonian state intends to make close to half of its ground forces capable of one-off foreign mission participation, while raising Defence League and its special organisations membership from current 23,000 to 27,000 by adding a thousand a year.
14.04.2014, News.postimees.ee / BNSPM
Bus firm to build battle wheels
By winning repair procurement for Defence Forces’ SISU armoured vehicles last year, bus company Sebe got a boost so powerful as to start building new military machines of its own.
11.04.2014, Andres ReimerPM
Allies discuss defence of Eastern Europe
NATO halted practical cooperation with Russia and is striving towards increased security of its easternmost members.
02.04.2014, Liisa TagelPM
Estonian battle equipment buy endangered
Last week, NATO defence ministers convened in Brussels to discuss situation in Ukraine. According to Urmas Reinsalu, holder of said portfolio in government of Estonia, another important private meeting happened with Dutch colleague Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. The topic: Estonia’s desire to buy, from Holland, CV90 combat vehicles and PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.
06.03.2014, Mikk SaluPM
Defence chiefs weigh worst-case scenarios
Since last week-end, documents of people exiting and entering military units undergo more diligent checks. Defence League members got phone-calls.
05.03.2014, Mikk SaluPM
Estonia says events in Crimea «invasion and occupation»
National Defence Council, an advisory body with the President of Estonia, this Sunday condemned Russia’s aggression in Crimea, Ukraine, and supported strongest measures by European Union and NATO against military activities of Russia.
03.03.2014, Mikk SaluPM
Baltics matter, due to their military readiness
According to British defence secretary Philip Hammond, Europe’s security depends on member states’ ability to provide equal partnership to USA.
04.12.2013, Liisa TagelPM
Estonia to take command of Baltic Naval Squadron next year
Estonia will in January 2014 take over command of the Baltic Naval Squadron (BALTRON) to which the Estonian Navy will contribute a mission unit and a staff and support vessel.
Estonia's Amari air base gets powerful fire trucks
The Estonian Ministry of Defense has bought two brand new powerful fire trucks for the Amari air base in order for the base to be able to receive also large military and civilian aircraft.
Defence Forces needing a new foreign mission?
By now, Estonian Defence Forces have been constantly involved in foreign missions for over a decade, probably ready to face situations increasingly complex and intense. Over the years, more and more men and machines have been included: in the beginning, a few men were dispatched into crisis areas; now platoons and even companies have been sent to Afghanistan.
Former Navy chief Igor Schvede appointed chief of staff
Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu has appointed Navy Capt. Igor Schvede, deputy chief of staff of the defense forces and former commander of the Navy, as the new chief of staff of the Estonian defense forces effective from July 8.