Germany’s Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen, on a visit to Tallinn, was asked to increase German military presence in Estonia, in meetings with Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and Defense Minister Sven Mikser.
“Estonia hopes for more permanent presence of European allies in Estonia and in the Baltic region, under the German leadership,” Rõivas said at the meeting with von der Leyen.
Von der Leyen said that Germany understands and shares Estonia's security concerns. "I can confirm that the worries and a sense of threat felt in Estonia, are also familiar to us. Your concerns are also our concerns,“ she said, adding that there is no questionability about the NATO solidarity and the guarantee of its Article 5.
The German defense minister also confirmed that Germany will participate again in the Baltic Air Policing mission this year and four fighter jets will be based in Ämari Air Base, Estonia. German troops will also take part in the multinational military exercises in Estonia next year.
Germany is an important ally for Estonia both in NATO and the European Union. In last autumn, Germany supported the Baltic Air Policing mission from Ämari Air Base in Estonia, with four Luftwaffe Eurofighter Typhoon jets patrolling the skies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
German support forms part of the NATO collective defense reassurance, offered to the Baltic states in the light of security concerns in eastern Europe. Germany has taken part in the air policing mission for seven times.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has previously said that the German government understands the security concerns of Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians. “Germany is ready to play its part to fulfil the understandable and warranted need for protection for the people in the Baltic states,“ Merkel said during her visit to Latvian capital Riga in August, last year.
Editor: S. Tambur