Ukrainian defense chief: It is important to know that we are not alone (1)

Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras (left) with Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Gen. Viktor Muzhenko (right) in Tallinn. Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. (Siim Lõvi/ERR)
11/25/2016 3:52 PM
Source: BNS
Category: News

On a two-day visit to Estonia, visiting Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Gen. Viktor Muzhenko met with Estonian leaders to discuss opportunities for further cooperation with Estonia as well as expressed gratitude for the support Estonia has shown Ukraine.

Muzhenko met with Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna, Chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso, Chief of the Estonian Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras and Chief of the Special Operations Force Col. Riho Ühtegi.

The Ukrainian defense chief's meeting with his Estonian counterpart focused on opportunities for cooperation in the fields of special forces member training, cyber defense, artillery, medicine and engineering.

According to Terras, previous cooperation between the two countries' defense forces has been productive and mutually beneficial. Estonia will continue to support Ukraine in all areas of cooperation, primarily special forces training and military medicine.

"We discussed various fields of future cooperation today," Terras said. "In addition to previous areas, we're exploring ways to support our Ukrainian colleagues in cyber defense." Members of the Estonian Special Operations Force are currently in Ukraine helping to train their counterparts there, he observed.

"We support Ukraine's struggle for independence and territorial integrity and hope it will be crowned by success," the Estonian defense chief told reporters on Friday.

"It is important to us to know that we are not alone, and Estonia has been a good partner for Ukraine," said Muzhenko. "I would like to thank the Estonian people for that and I hope our cooperation and relations will continue to improve."

According to the Ukrainian defense chief, possible further scenarios of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine were discussed at the meeting as well. Speaking about assistance to Ukraine, Muzhenko said that his country needs political support above all. He also acknowledged that Ukrainian units have combat experience but are in need of additional training as well.

A Ukrainian unit may take part in the Estonian Defence Forces' annual Spring Storm exercise next year, Muzhenko added. Staff talks between the two countries are also scheduled to take place next year.

On Friday morning, Muzhenko laid a wreath at the War of Independence monument in Tallinn. Before leaving Estonia, he will also visit the 1st Infantry Brigade and meet with Ukrainian service members undergoing medical rehabilitation in Estonia.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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