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Estonian minister unveils $22 million defense package during Kyiv visit

by Martin Fornusek March 21, 2024 1:56 PM 2 min read
Illustrative purposes only: Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov (L) chats with Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur at the 15th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base on Sept. 19, 2023, in Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur announced a defense aid package for Ukraine worth 20 million euros ($22 million) during his visit to Kyiv on March 21, the Estonian Defense Ministry announced.

"The package includes recoilless anti-tank guns, explosives, various types of artillery ammunition, gas masks, sniper equipment, smaller caliber ammunition, and more," Pevkur said.

Artillery shells are a crucial capability for Ukraine as the country faces critical ammunition shortages, namely due to delays in U.S. assistance.

"We put this package together, focussing on providing the maximum benefit to Ukraine while making sure not to diminish Estonian defense readiness," the Estonian defense minister said.

The tranche includes 155 mm shells, donated as Tallinn's contribution to the EU's plan to supply Kyiv with 1 million rounds. Their exact number is confidential. According to the Estonian Defense Ministry, Denmark will partially finance the replenishment of this donation.

The EU failed on its promise to deliver 1 million artillery shells between March 2023 and 2024. After supplying only about half of the promised rounds, Brussels shifted the deadline to the end of this year.

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War Notes

In a separate initiative, Czechia is collecting funds for the purchase of 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine from suppliers outside the EU.

Pevkur said that during his visit to Ukraine's capital, he met his Ukrainian counterpart, Rustem Umerov.

"The overview that Defense Minister Umerov gave us about the situation on the battlefield confirmed that this package is very much needed," Pevkur noted.

The Baltic country, with a population of 1.3 million, is one of the leading military donors to Ukraine in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) shares, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Over the next four years, Tallinn plans to allocate 0.25% of its GDP to military assistance for Kyiv. The country's previous aid included Javelin anti-tank missiles, howitzers, artillery ammunition, anti-tank mines, anti-tank grenade launchers, and more.

Estonian FM announces imminent signing of security agreement with Ukraine
Estonia plans to sign a bilateral agreement on security guarantees under the Group of Seven (G7) Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said on March 8 during the joint press conference in Vilnius.

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