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Estonian Defense Forces Commander Urges EU Countries to Boost Military Spending

© Sputnik / Sergey Stepanov / Go to the photo bankEstonian army exercises. (File)
Estonian army exercises. (File) - Sputnik International
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The EU member states should increase their defense budgets, Commander-in-Chief of the Estonian Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras said Tuesday.

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TALLINN (Sputnik) — The Estonian draft budget for 2017 allocates an unprecedented amount of 477 million euros (roughly $525 million) for the military spending, which is about 2 percent of the country's GDP. Estonia is the only Baltic country that adheres to the NATO's recommendation of reserving 2 percent of the GDP on defense. Poland, Greece and the soon-to-leave the bloc United Kingdom meet the Alliance's target as well.

"In the current situation in the security sphere, many countries inevitably have to increase defense expenditure," Terras was quoted as saying in a statement on the Estonian General Staff website.

Terras, who attended a meeting of the EU defense chiefs in Brussels earlier in the day, stressed that the EU countries should be ready to contribute more, if the European Union intended to play a greater role in ensuring the safety of the region.

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