EU state’s taxpayers must pay for militarization – minister — RT World News

NATO member Estonia is considering a new security tax to “protect” itself from Russia, its finance minister told local media.

Rising defense costs leave Estonia no other choice but to impose a security tax in the coming years, EU member state Finance Minister Mart Forkleff said on Tuesday.

The minister was commenting on an initiative put forward by Estonian Defense Forces Commander Martin Hirem, who earlier this week proposed increasing his country's defense spending to 5% of GDP. According to General Herrem, this will enable Tallinn to purchase ammunition worth 1.5 billion euros “Deter Russia or destroy its infrastructure.” In the event of an attack.

Speaking to news outlet ERR, Minister Vorkleff said that when allocating 5% of GDP to defence, Estonia would have to impose a broad security tax, adding, however, that the new tax would not be introduced until 2026.

The proposal has already drawn criticism, with Vadim Beloprovtsev, a member of the Center Party's parliamentary faction, saying he could not imagine where the €1.5 billion could come from. The authorities must keep the national economy in focus and reflect on it How do we get out of this economic crisis? The politician said.

Last year, the Baltic state's GDP fell by 3% and amounted to 37.7 billion euros ($40.8 billion), data shared by Statistics Estonia in March showed.

Earlier this month, the Estonian government agreed to increase the country's defense budget to 3% of GDP between 2024 and 2027, from 2.85% last year, and a sharp increase from NATO's 2% threshold to arm itself, as it seeks to arm itself. To confront a supposed threat from Russia. The former Soviet republic, which shares a 284-kilometre border with Russia, joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Estonia has been on the front line, along with Latvia and Lithuania, in the West's confrontation with Moscow since the beginning of the Ukrainian conflict in 2022.

Earlier this year, several senior officials from NATO member states, including the UK, Germany and Estonia, claimed that Russia was planning an attack on the bloc within the next few years.

Moscow has consistently denied the allegations, and President Vladimir Putin has insisted that Russia has as well “It has no interest… geopolitically, economically or militarily… in waging war against NATO.”

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