Estonian Defense Ministry: US plan to strengthen presence in Europe is great news ({{commentsTotal}})

US military vehicles arriving at Estonian Defense Forces base in Tapa Source: (Karl Martin Räästas/Estonian Defense Forces)

Defense Minister Hannes Hanso welcomed the plan of the United States to quadruple the resources it plans to allocate to its presence in Europe.

"This is extremely good news," Hanso told BNS on Thursday, commenting on the promise of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to spend 3.4 billion dollars next year to counter “Russia's aggression” and boost US presence in Eastern European nations.

According to Hanso, the decision shows that the work of Estonia and other Eastern European countries to convince their NATO allies to shift the alliance's focus more to the east is beginning to produce results.

Hanso said that what the United States is doing now would mean increased rotation of forces, more exercises, more prepositioning, more infrastructure, and more people. “It provides certainty that the Americans are very committed to the defense of our region,” he added.

According to Hanso it is still early to talk about details and how much the presence of the US in Estonia will change. “But the Americans are already here in Estonia, and based on Tuesday’s information it can be expected that the presence will increase,” the minister said.

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.

Opinion digest: How can Estonia shed its reputation as a frontline state?

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, Propastop, a blog maintained by Estonian Defence Forces volunteers, listed suggestions on how Estonia could shed its international reputation as a frontline state.