Defense minister: German air force at Ämari great example of how NATO works

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Second Vice-President of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet (Reform). Source: Sander Koit/ERR

Germany's current contribution to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission in Estonia is a great example of how the alliance works in practice, defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) says.

Laanet, who discussed bilateral defense relations between the two countries with his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Friday said that: "Germany's long-term and regular operation in the Baltic air policing mission is one of the best examples of NATO's deterrence and defense attitude and a clear statement of the unity of the allies and Germany's real contribution to our security."

The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) is nearing the end of a double-header stint at Ämari air base which started last September, a tour which has allowed its Eurofighter Typhoons plenty of experience and practice.

Another topic on the table was a tri-lateral project which will see a field hospital be supplied to Ukraine, still engaged in a counter-insurgency struggle against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country.

Laanet said: "We are very pleased that a joint Estonian-German project in support of Ukrainian military medicine is being launched. We hope that it will develop into a longer-term enterprise."

The joint effort will see Germany is acquiring the field hospital – actually made by Estonian firm Semetron – for Ukraine, with Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) personnel providing training to Ukrainian teams and instructors.

The pair also discussed cyber defense cooperation, an area where Estonia is interested in promoting mutually beneficial projects with Germany, such as use of the cyber training field CR14, while EU strategic issues and cooperation with NATO were also on the table.

Improving military mobility within the EU needed more attention than before, while the union has also expressed a desire to work together to promote the development and deployment of modern digital solutions, the two ministers found.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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