US F-15 fighter jets to stay in Estonia for 'some time'
American fighter jets will continue to stay in Estonia for "some time", an official from the U.S. Embassy has said. The planes participated in NATO allied exercises last week.
Six F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jets arrived at Estonia's Ämari Air Base last Wednesday to take part in the Astute Protector exercise.
The U.S. jets are usually stationed at the Lakenheath Royal Air Force Base in the U.K. and it was said they would stay in Estonia until the end of the week.
Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Brian Roraff told ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" they will stay in the region for a longer period.
"They are here for some time. This is a show of support to our eastern flank allies, it's a show of support to Estonia," he said.
Last week, U.S. transport planes brought equipment to Ämari to support the jets.
Astute Protector took place amid rising tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Estonia has been calling for NATO, and especially the U.S., to increase its presence in the Baltics.
The U.S. has also given the Baltic states permission to send weapons, sold to them by the U.S., to Ukraine.
Roraff said: "We, the United States, are hoping other allies step up because allied unity, allied support for Ukraine, in this defence and deterrence path only supports the diplomacy we're undertaking to try and deescalate this situation that Russia created."
On Thursday, four Danish F-16 fighters were sent to Šiauliai airbase in Lithuania and participated in the same exercise.
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Editor: Helen Wright