Parliament approves foreign missions in 2016 ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonian troops taking part in NATO's Trident Juncture 2015 exercise in Spain. Source: (Siim Teder/Estonian Defense Forces)

The Parliament passed several bills on Thursday for the use of the Estonian Defense Forces in international military and peacekeeping missions in 2016.

The resolution "Use of the Defense Forces in the Fulfilment of the International Commitments of the Estonian State in the Composition of the NATO Response Force" was approved with 78 votes in favor. This provides the use of up to 210 active servicemen of the Estonian Defense Forces in the composition of NATO Response Force NRF in 2016.

In separate bills, the Parliament also extended its participation in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (three officers; 76 votes in favor), the European Union training mission and the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (10+10; 68 votes), the NATO-led advisory and training mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan (six officers plus four-member mine clearance team; 68 votes), the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon (50; 63 votes), and the UN post-conflict peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Syria (six staff officers and senior staff officers; 59 votes)

In addition, the Parliament also approved the use of up to two Estonian staff officers in the European Union Military Mission EUNAVFOR Med ((EU Naval Forces in the Mediterranean). The aim of the operation is to disrupt the activities of human traffickers in the central area of the Mediterranean: between the territorial seas of Italy and Malta, and Libya.

The Parliament suspended the proceedings on the Draft Resolution "Use of the Defence Forces in the Fulfilment of the International Commitments of the Estonian State in Another International Military Operation Led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or its Member State, the European Union or the UN upon the First Contribution thereto," submitted by the government. This draft Resolution provides for the use of up to 50 active servicemen, as necessary, in an operation led by NATO or its member state, the EU or the UN, or in another international military operation in compliance with the generally recognised principles of international law next year. The exact contribution of Estonia and the amount will depend on the needs of a specific operation and the possibilities of the state. Estonia can contribute with staff officers as well as certain units, for example, mine clearance team, infantry platoon or special forces. The draft Resolution will ensure that rapid and flexible contribution to operations is guaranteed with a Parliament resolution. The deadline for submission of motions to amend the draft resolution is December 23.

Editor: M. Oll

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