Mihkelson: Allied troops will reach battalion strength in 2017 ({{commentsTotal}})

Chairman of the Riigikogu’s National Defence Committee, Marko Mihkelson (IRL), said on Wednesday that a NATO battalion should arrive in Estonia in the first half of 2017.

Taking into account the experiences made following the Wales summit of 2014, NATO’s members were increasingly quicker to let their political promises be followed by action, Mihkelson said. “I don’t doubt that battalion strength will be reached in the next year,” he added.

Detailed decisions would follow at the upcoming summit in Warsaw on Jul. 8-9, where the alliance’s member states in charge of the Baltic and Polish battalions would specify their contribution. After the summit, detailed timelines would then be prepared, Mihkelson said.

In terms of getting the necessary infrastructure in place for the arrival of the allied troops, more investments in the Tapa military complex were necessary, Mihkelson stated.

In addition to the NATO battalions, different countries have agreed to send military units to the Baltic States, for instance Germany, Denmark, and the Visegrad Countries. According to Mihkelson, a company-strength unit of the German Bundeswehr will arrive as early as next month.

These troups would be rotating in and out of the country and come here for training, Mihkelson said, adding that it would be in Estonia’s interest if such units not only came once or twice a year, but in a distributed fashion, so that personnel would be present throughout the whole year. This would also make it easier for the Estonian Defence Forces to host them.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn



Opinion
Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.