Estonia prepares plan for defense against Russian invasion

The Baltic state is increasing its defense budget, upgrading the defense of its coasts and acquiring anti-ship missile boats. It has also requested cooperation from Lithuania and Latvia  

An Estonian Navy training exercise at the port of Tallinn. Photo: REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Estonia is improving and upgrading the defense of its coasts, increasing its defense budget, and planning to establish coastal fortifications, lay sea mines and acquire anti-ship missile boats – to provide protection from a Russian invasion. 

The government in Tallinn authorized last week a defense budget of $760 million for 2021, and the first and main clause in the plan is defense of the coasts. According to a report by the Defense News website, Estonia requested its neighbors Lithuania and Latvia for cooperation in defense of the Baltic coasts that extend for thousands of kilometers. The biggest concern of the three Baltic states, members of NATO, is a possible Russian invasion like the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.   

The coastal defense plan is still at the beginning stage with an investment of $60 million, and the Defense Ministry is currently preparing a list of equipment for acquisition. Asko Kivinuk, who heads the center for military investments, said that offers by four or five ship producers are now being considered, and that the military is preparing a comprehensive plan for defense of the coasts from various threats by building fortifications. Experts believe that Estonia will start carrying out the plan within about two years. 

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