Tallinn 24 September 2014 – Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas emphasised that security and defence policy professionals must harness innovation, if they are to succeed, especially in the smaller states, in his opening remarks at the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2014: The Future of Western Technological Dominance in Military Affairs.
“Estonia with the population of 1.3 million people will never have the masses and hordes for the defence of the country. Instead, we need to make sure that we have a strong technological base to support our self defence capability as well as our Allies,” said Rõivas.
The security situation in Euro-Atlantic area has changed, as was collectively agreed upon at the NATO’s summit in Wales, and through the Ukraine crisis, Russia has clearly implemented a new type of aggression model to achieve its strategic objectives.
Rõivas stressed that NATO has learned from the recent events and is able to adapt accordingly. In the longer run, this means having the three Ps – presence, prepositioning and planning – in place in the east, which must be backed up by rapid response forces, Prime Minister said.
To achieve this, Estonia has sustained the commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence, for several years, and will continue to do so due to the increased security risk.
“Security has a price. Freedom is priceless,” said Rõivas and called for collectively reversing the trend of falling defence budgets.