Tallinn, Stenbock House, 12 December 2011 – As of today, General Ants Laaneots is serving as adviser to Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on matters of national defence and security.
Gen. Laaneots, who retired from duty as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces last week, will begin advising the Prime Minister on defence policy issues. He will also be responsible for reviewing draft legislation and development plans in this field.
Prime Minister Ansip said he was pleased with the general’s decision to accept the position.
“Ants Laaneots’s broad experience and military expertise are highly regarded and will help strengthen the Estonian national defence further in future. Organizing national defence in a productive manner will require efficacious leadership, rapid decision-making and cooperation between various agencies and spheres. I am convinced that the counsel of General Laaneots in his capacity as adviser to the prime minister and the entire cabinet, will make a significant contribution to achieving these aims,” said Ansip.
The national defence strategy that came into effect earlier this year emphasizes a broad-based approach where not only military defence but also community support, active participation in international alliances, increased internal security, assurance regarding functioning of vital services and development of psychological defence must all be ensured.
General Ants Laaneots was born on 16 January 1948 in Kilingi-Nõmme in Pärnu County. He graduated from the Higher Military School in Kharkov, Ukraine, the Malinovsky Military Academy of Armoured Forces in Moscow, and has studied at the NATO Defence College in Rome and the Finnish National Defence College. Laaneots served in the Soviet army, attaining the rank of polkovnik (colonel), and also served as military adviser to the commander of an infantry division and to the commanding general of an army corps.
In newly independent Estonia, Laaneots was appointed by the cabinet in autumn 1991 to establish the General Staff of the Defence Forces and from 1991-1994, Laaneots was the Chief of the General Staff. From 1994-1996 he served as director of AS ESS Lõuna. In 1997, Laaneots served as chief inspector of the Defence Forces and from 1997-1999 he was again the Chief of the General Staff.
Before becoming head of the National Defence College in 2001, General Laaneots served as head of the Baltic Defence Research Centre. In 2002, he was named defence attaché in Russia and Ukraine. From December 2006 to last Monday, Laaneots was commander-in-chief of the Estonian Defence Forces.
Ants Laaneots was promoted to general this summer.