The government has agreed to extend PPA's mission to Slovenia until the end of the year to help manage the influx of refugees to the small European country. On the request of France, Estonia will also send two more staff officers to Mali.
The 25-strong unit, dispatched to Slovenia a month ago, was scheduled to return to Estonia today, but 15 officers will stay for at least a few more weeks, it was announced. The government has decided to allocate 67,248 euros from state reserves so that the mission can continue.
“These 15 officers will now have a different profile,” Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said. “They will be tasked with conducting background checks, which is very good experience for our people. According to the current plan, they will stay until the end of the year and we'll see after that if the mission needs to be prolonged again, or what decisions we will make.”
According to Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur, the mission will be cut short as soon as the number of refugees arriving in Slovenia each day drops below 3,000.
- - -
Estonia has also decided to answer France's call for help by sending two more staff officers to Mali, taking the total of its troops there to 20.
France asked allies to send addition peacekeepers to Mali and other missions they are involved in, to replace French soliders who are urgently needed to fight ISIS.
Estonia's additional contribution remains within the limits previously agreed by the Parliament and did not need further approvals by the legislative body.
Estonia currently has seven soldiers and one staff officer taking part in the EUTM Mali training mission, as well as two staff officers and an eight-strong unit in UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission.
Editor: M. Oll