Russian inspectors visit 2nd Infantry Brigade (7)
The Estonian Defence Forces’ 2nd Infantry Brigade will be inspected by officers of the Russian Federation for the next four days. The group, which consists of four officers, will visit the 2nd Infantry Brigade as well as the command center of Spring Storm, where they will be given an overview of the ongoing exercise.
The General Staff of the EDF also announced that the inspectors will conduct a inspection flight with an Antonov AN-2 aircraft in South-East Estonia.
The last time Russian inspectors were in Estonia was in May 2015, when they inspected the 1st Infantry Brigade. Estonian inspectors visited Russia in the same month for an inspection flight together with the American military.
The inspection is based on the so-called Vienna Document, an agreement to foster trust and international exchange. Any member country of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) can demand 48-hour inspections of other members’ military forces. The results of each inspection are published among all of the OSCE’s member states.
The Vienna Document, signed for the first time in 1990 and revised several times since, provides for regular military exchange and inspections throughout the member countries of the OSCE.
In more recent years the effectiveness and purpose of the arrangement has been questioned, especially in the light of Russia’s more recent military operations, and plenty of unannounced exercises and border incidents.