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General Saar appointed special representative for defence technology in Ukraine
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna appointed Maj. Gen. (ret.) Valeri Saar as the special representative of the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces for defence technology and innovation in Ukraine.
Maj. Gen. Saar will be responsible for cultivating closer ties between the defence fields and industries of the two countries, in order to support the modernisation of Ukraine's defence sector, while also supporting the development of defence related technical expertise and cyber defence related cooperation.
Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna stated that Maj. Gen. Valeri Saar is well-suited to serve as the special representative due to his exemplary service experience and personal skills.
“General Saar’s principal duty will be to ensure successful cooperation between the defence sectors of our two countries through the creation of personal connections and the mediation of the progress of Estonia’s defence industry,” said Minister Tsahkna.
“As a representative of the Commander of the Defence Forces, I also view the development of military cooperation as an important field,” said Maj. Gen. Saar.
Maj. Gen. Saar will continue working as an advisor to the Commander of the Defence Forces and will not be residing permanently in Ukraine as a special representative to the nation.
Valeri Saar has served in the Defence Forces of Estonia since its re-establishment and was Commander of the Air Force from 2007-2012. From 2012-2016, Maj. Gen. Saar served as the Estonian Military Representative to NATO and EU Military Committees; upon his return from foreign service, he retired. He studied at the Higher Air Defence Radio Electronic Military College in Zhitomir, Ukraine, from 1972-1976.
By way of a competition, the Supervisory Board of the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) selected Sven Sakkov, who is currently serving as Director of the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, as the Centre’s new Director.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence presented retiring Lieutenant Colonel Mark Wilson, Commander of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence battalion battle group, with the Third Class Cross of Merit of the Ministry of Defence for his notable contribution to preparations for, and implementation of, the expanded Allied presence.