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Minister of Defence Hanso: France to deploy tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Estonia
At a meeting in Canada with Estonian Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso, French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed the solid development of allied relations between France and Estonia and that France will be deploying five Leclerc tanks, thirteen infantry fighting vehicles, and 300 soldiers to Estonia next year.
“Estonian and French soldiers are connected by a brotherhood in arms from African operations,” said Minister of Defence Hanso. “We understand clearly that a contribution must be made to the defence of Europe, increasing NATO’s military presence in the Baltic Sea region and especially in NATO border countries.”
According to Minister of Defence Hanso, very important cyber cooperation is taking between Estonia and France, since both countries have noteworthy capabilities in this field and our cyber related challenges are similar. In May, Ministers of Defence Hanso and Le Drian concluded an exclusive cyber defence cooperation agreement between Estonia and France.
The French heavy armoured unit will be begin serving as part of the United Kingdom led NATO battalion combat group stationed in Tapa.
This summer, the allies will be carrying out large-scale training exercises on the Baltic Sea. The United States will be leading the annual international Baltic region training exercise BALTOPS, while the United Kingdom will be leading the deployment exercise Baltic Protector.