Defense League members to make up core of next Polish border deployment
Members of the voluntary Defense League (Kaitseliit) are to deploy to Poland soon, following the recent return of a regular Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) unit there. Personnel from both forces are involved in bolstering Poland's border with Belarus, following migratory pressure there created by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
Defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) said that: "Poland is one of our most important allies in the region."
"Supporting them in the current security situation is of key importance, since the hybrid crisis demands continuing attention and Poland has issued a request for the continuance of this unit's work. We have very good experiences of Defense League participation in missions and exercises, so I am sure that the Defense League members will execute their tasks in Poland well," Laanet went on, via a ministry press release.
Infantry and engineers are to be involved in the new deployment, which is being made at Poland's request and which, Laanet said, demonstrates Estonia's solidarity with and readiness to support its allies.
A 70-member team spent much of December in Poland as part of a mission dubbed Operation Wisent.
The first unit included both reservists and active servicemen, as well as civilians and was part of a bilateral defense cooperation project which has resulted in the construction of over 22 km of border barriers, along with filmed border surveillance, some of it using drones.
Intelligence personnel are also to make-up part of the second deployment, which will also be about 70-strong and will arrive in-country in mid-January.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte