Ministry Wants to Send 140 Troops on Missions in 2014
The Ministry of Defense has prepared a bill which would approve the use of 140 Estonian soldiers on foreign missions in 2014.
The soldiers will take part in NATO units in Afghanistan, Mali, Kosovo, the Middle East, and with a European Union battle group.
Minister Sven Mikser said NATO, EU and UN memberships bring certain responsibilities. “Estonia will give its contribution to guaranteeing international security with that (participation in missions), but this will also ensure our own defense, which is paramount in the high-tension security situation,” he added.
The NATO response force (NRF) will have 40 Estonian sailors on board, including one mine ship, the same level as during the current year.
Up to 50 troops will join the European Union battle group, which has a deployment date of up to 15 days after a decision. The Estonian troops will be located in Estonia until needed.
If Afghanistan agrees to further cooperation with NATO, 25 Estonian soldiers could take part in the Resolute Support mission in the nation, to train and advise local troops.
The ministry also wants to extend the missions in Mali (up to 10 Estonians), Kosovo (three soldiers) and the Middle East (up to six soldiers).