President: Pandemic not interfered with Baltic States' defense cooperation

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Nicely camouflaged Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank during Exercise Furious Axe in Latvia. Source: NATO eFP Estonia

President Kersti Kaljulaid said the coronavirus pandemic has not dented any of the three Baltic States' defensive preparedness, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reports.

"As to the question about whether our army will fight if it has fever, yes it will," Kaljulaid joked on Tuesday, talking to LSM while on an official visit to Latvia and at a time when Estonia's 14-day coronavirus rate per 100,000 inhabitants exceeds not only that of its southern neighbor, but also the rates of nearly all EU countries.

Military cooperation between the two countries, which included a live firing exercise in Latvia last fall involving NATO tanks based in Estonia, is one area which has not been disrupted unduly, Kaljulaid said, noting the need to balance security with the realities of the pandemic.

Latvia closed its border with Estonia and the rest of the EU last month.

The Estonian president's Baltic tour continues on Wednesday, when she is in Lithuania.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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