From among the three Baltic States, Estonia spends the largest amounts of money on national defense, writes LETA/Postimees Online. Estonia would be able to mobilize the biggest army among the Baltic States during the times. Lithuania, on the other hand, has the most-developed air force.
Researcher of the International Centre of Defense Studies Tomas Jermalavicius explained the differences with Estonia and Lithuania having drawn different conclusions from the events of the year 1939. Lithuania had beforehand spent immense amounts of money on national defense, which had no impact on the maintaining of independence and hence Lithuanians have perceived the events as a military failure. Estonians, on the other hand, view the 1939 events as a political failure and hence put much more confidence in the military capacity.
"It is simple – the Estonian society is prepared to pay for national defense," said Jermalavicius.
Although it spends more on national defense than its Baltic neighbors, it cannot be stated that Estonia spends a lot on this area – the fact is rather that Latvia and Lithuania spend extraordinarily little on national defence, being among the lowest-spending countries among the NATO Member States.
Unlike Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also abandoned the reserve army system, maintaining professional armies and the voluntary military organizations.