Rõivas tells US senators Estonia is prepared to host US battalion ({{commentsTotal}})

The US Senate Committee on Armed Services meets with Estonia PM Taavi Rõivas Source: (Government Office)

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas confirmed during today’s meeting with the delegation of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services in Tallinn that the US support to Estonia over time has been invaluable and made a proposal to increase the presence of US allied forces to a battalion.

The senators Deb Fisher, John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, John Barrasso, and congressman Mike Conaway met with Rõivas and Defense Minister Sven Mikser, to discuss military, energy and cyber security, as well as the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement.

“The visible military presence of US and European allies is very important in terms of ensuring the security of the region,” Rõivas said to senators, adding that Estonia values the clear commitment of the US with regard to the protection of the NATO territory.

Rõivas also noted the decision to allocate resources from the 2016 US defense budget for strengthening the security of Eastern and Central Europe, including developing the Ämari Air Base in Estonia.

The Senators recognized Estonia for its commitment to contribute 2 percent of the country's GDP on defense expenditure. Estonia has also allocated additional funds to host and provide a training ground for the allied forces.

Editor: S. Tambur

Opinion digest: Our plans do not have to bend to distorted Russophobia

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, small business-owner and Reform Party member Vootele Päi responded to criticism sparked by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' plans to attend a commemorative concert-service at the Estonian church in Saint Petersburg next month.

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.