Estonian prime minister Tiit Vahi has proposed in an interview that his coalition government will double defense spending as of next year. Vahi noted that Estonia’s defense outlays rank well below those of West European countries as a proportion of both GNP and of the state budget. The proposal follows NATO secretary general Javier Solana’s visit and apparently seeks to confirm that Estonia would bear its fair share of the burden if admitted to NATO. (BNS, April 19-20)
Russian Black Sea Fleet Role to Increase.