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Defence minister discusses further military cooperation with chiefs of defence from the Baltics and Finland

19. January 2015 - 11:17

Tallinn, 16 January – At a luncheon today with the chiefs of defence of the three Baltic states and Finland, Estonian Minister of Defence Sven Mikser discussed the security situation in the region and further mutual cooperation.

“In the new security situation that has arisen in the light of developments in Ukraine, it is very important to deal actively with regional defence cooperation,” said Mikser. “We all recognize the importance of the cooperation between the three Baltic states continuing and joint activities with Finland increasing.”

Among other topics, discussions were held on the development of NATO Air Policing and the prospects of the US air force training centre to be established at Ämari; defence spending topics were also emphasized.

Mikser spoke to Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces, Gen. Jarmo Lindberg, about the potential incipient Estonian-Finnish cooperation as part of the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon. Finland has invited Estonia to contribute in the joint Irish-Finnish battalion.

The chiefs of defence began their visit to Estonia yesterday. The visit is devoted to discussing the security situation in the region, mutual cooperation and joint procurements.

This year, the countries taking part in the meeting are all playing a role in the deployment-ready Nordic Battle Group. The Nordic Battle Group is led by Sweden and a total of seven countries contribute to it.

Estonia is planning to take part in the Finland-Ireland joint battalion in the UNIFIL operation in Lebanon. Close cooperation has united Estonia and Finland since the Estonian Defence Forces were re-established.

Many officers have received a military education and graduated from academy in Finland. Estonia is also engaged in cooperation with Finland in the field of logistics and weaponry.

In 2016, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will contribute to the joint Baltic Battalion – whose core is Estonia’s Scouts Battalion – to the NATO response forces. Latvia and Lithuania will each contribute one infantry company, combat engineer platoon and anti-tank platoon, military police officers and fire control specialists.

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