Mikser: US weapons prepositioning in the works (1)
Defense Minister Sven Mikser said the decision to preposition US heavy weapons in the Baltics has been nearly finalized. The plan could see weapons for up to 5,000 troops stored in the Baltics and a number of Eastern European nations.
The move would be the first time the United States stationed heavy weapons in one of the new NATO member states, the New York Times reported.
Although no final decision has been taken, it is believed the plan would include battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for 5,000 soldiers. The plan would also include Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Estonia's part in the plan would not be huge, with equipment for a company, or 150 soldiers, pre-positioned in Estonia.
Mikser said that although the official decision is yet to be made, it now only needs the approval of top US politicians, which is a mere formality.
“Nothing is lacking here, everything is in the works. The United States is a huge system and in reality, it has been impressive how quickly the extremely large state government as a whole, and also the defense sector, have been able to react to the changes in security in Europe, and to return to Europe in a significant manner,” Mikser told ETV.
Estonia and other eastern European nations have repeatedly called for stronger NATO presence in their territories. In May, it was revealed that the Baltic states will also ask that 700-800 men units be permanently stationed in each country on a rotational basis.