WARSAW — Estonia's Ministry of Defense has signed an agreement with Raytheon to advance defense industry partnerships and pursue collaborative initiatives to further enhance Estonia's cyber defense capabilities.

The deal was agreed to by Mikk Marran, the permanent secretary of the Estonian Defense Ministry, and the company during the official's recent visit to Washington for talks with US government and defense industry representatives, Raytheon said in a statement.

"Strong defense-industrial cooperation between the United States and Estonia is in our country's strategic interest," Marran was quoted as saying in the statement.

Under the plan, representatives of Estonia's Defense Ministry and Raytheon will meet in Tallinn to further discuss specific areas for collaboration.

Estonia, one of Europe's leading countries in the field of e-governance and cybersecurity, solutions, intensified efforts to bolster its cyber defense capability following a string of cyber attacks that targeted the country's public institutions, media outlets and financial institutions in 2007. Estonian authorities have accused Moscow of launching the cyber attacks.

In its National Defense Development Plan for the years 2013-2022, the Estonian Defense Ministry said it "will continue prioritizing cyber defense both internationally and domestically, using for this purpose, among other things, the synergy created by cooperation between Defense League cyber defense units and the NATO Cyber Defense Centre."

From 2009 to 2018, Estonia is to allocate a total of €3.665 billion euros (US $3.96 billion) to military expenditure, according to the strategic document. Of these, some 408.9 million euros will be spent by the Defense Ministry this year.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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