Minister of Defence denies Russian armed forces ensemble entry to Estonia (5)
Yesterday, Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso denied the Alexandrov Ensemble, official the song- and dance ensemble of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, permission to enter Estonia, citing that military cooperation between Russia and Estonia has been suspended since 2014.
According to Estonia’s National Defence Act, foreign armed forces fulfilling official duties may reside in Estonia exclusively with the permission of the minister of defence. This requirement extends to civilians who belong to foreign armed forces as well.
The Alexandrov Ensemble, which consists of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance troupe, is the official ensemble of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and is governed by the Russian Ministry of Defence. Military cooperation with Russia was suspended in March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea and outbreak of military aggression in Eastern Ukraine.