Bri­tish troops ar­rive in Es­to­nia

The Baltic Times - - SPOTLIGHT - TBT/BNS Staff

Around 130 Bri­tish troops, part of the 1,200-strong NATO bat­tle group to be sta­tioned in Es­to­nia this spring, have ar­rived at the Amari air base, spokes­peo­ple for Es­to­nian de­fense head­quar­ters re­port.

“The par­tic­i­pa­tion of Bri­tish, French and Dan­ish ser­vice mem­bers is a clear sign that coun­tries of the al­liance stand jointly in de­fense of peace and free­dom. Here in Es­to­nia you’ll be de­fend­ing the whole NATO, not just Es­to­nia,”min­is­ter of De­fense Mar­gus Tsahkna told the Brits.

The sol­diers were wel­comed by Bri­tish Am­bas­sador Theresa Bubbear and com­man­der of the 1st In­fantry Bri­gade Col. Veiko-vello Palm as well.

Pre­vi­ously 80 Bri­tish troops had started ser­vice in this coun­try to pre­pare in co­op­er­a­tion with mem­bers of the Es­to­nian de­fense forces for the ar­rival of the per­son­nel and equip­ment of the NATO bat­tle group.

The first 50 mem­bers of the bat­tle group’s French con­tin­gent are sched­uled to ar­rive in Es­to­nia on March 20. French troops will serve in the bat­tle group for the next eight months af­ter which they will be re­placed by a Dan­ish con­tin­gent. The re­main­der of the bat­tle group as well as their equip­ment is to ar­rive here in the com­ing weeks.

Lead­ers of NATO coun­tries de­cided at the War­saw sum­mit last year to de­ploy al­lied troops to Es­to­nia, Latvia, Lithua­nia and Poland in re­sponse to the changed se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment. The con­tin­gent to be sta­tioned in Es­to­nia will be led by the UK, with ad­di­tional troops con­trib­uted by France and Den­mark.

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