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Riigikogu to begin discussion of DCA with the US

11. May 2017 - 13:58

Today, the first reading of the ratification of the defence cooperation agreement signed between Estonia and the United States of America will take place in the Riigikogu.

The Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) will regulate the status of U.S. Armed Forces, their dependants, and contractors stationed in Estonia, while also simplifying their activities here and increasing well-being by providing certain agreement based benefits.

The Estonia-US Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed on 17 January, by U.S. Ambassador to Estonia James Melville and Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna.

“Defence related cooperation with our most powerful ally, the United States of America, is of critical importance to the defence of the Estonian state,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna. “The conclusion of the cooperation agreement secures a more efficient development of our good bilateral security relationships.”

The need for the more precise regulation of the presence of Allies arose in connection with the presence of U.S. Armed Forces in Estonia, with the United States proposing in August 2016 that a defence cooperation agreement be concluded.

The Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) complements the already existing agreement on the status of armed forces between NATO member states (NATO SOFA), and replaces the agreement on the use of land plots and structures belonging to the Defence Forces of Estonia, which was concluded with the United States in 2015.

Estonia has previously concluded bilateral armed forces status agreements, for example, with Kuwait and Germany.

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