Watch again: Danish prime minister press conference from Tapa base

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Denmark may commit to sending 800 more troops to the Baltic States, that country's prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, said Wednesday. The Danish premier was in Estonia and appeared at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) at Tapa.

Denmark is already a regular contributor to the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup at Tapa, and around 200 of its personnel are currently based there.

For an increased number of Danish troops to get the go ahead, NATO must first request them, while Denmark's parliament, the Folketing, must also approve the move, Frederiksen said.

Upon being asked at the press conference about the potential troop commitment, Prime Minister Frederiksen said it was "much more than an idea."

The British-led eFP has been in place five years and has equivalent units in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The U.K. recently doubled the number of troops it is deploying there, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine starting February 24.

Prime Minister Frederiksen's Estonian visit on Wednesday included a visit to Tapa, accompanied by Kaja Kallas. The pair will gave a press conference with simultaneous interpretation in English which can be re-watched by clicking the YouTube video link up top or below (event starts at the 24 minutes and 30 seconds mark).

The Danish prime minister was also joined on the visit by several political party leaders from Denmark, both in office and from the opposition.

Denmark's ambassador to Estonia, Mrs. Kristina Miskowiak Beckvard, said ahead of the visit that: "I look forward to seeing the Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the Danish party leaders Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (Liberal Party), Pia Olsen Dyhr (Green Left), Sofie Carsten Nielsen (Social Liberal Party) and Søren Pape Poulsen (Conservative People's Party) – this is a sign of our unity, that they come here together."

Kaja Kallas: Estonia and Denmark close allies

Speaking at the press conference, Kaja Kallas noted that: "Estonia and Denmark are very close allies and friends. Denmark has had a long-term commitment to Estonian and Baltic defense."

"Danish forces are here in Tapa today as part of NATO's enhanced Forward Presence," she added.

"Your planes help to protect our skies in the Baltic Air Policing mission. Your ships help to secure our seas. Your government's additional reinforcements – a navy frigate, F-16 fighter jets and a possible additional deployment of troops – to our region sends a strong message of support," the prime minister continued.

"I also commend Denmark for its recent decisions to bolster national defense," Kallas continued. , noting that Estonia recently upped its annual NATO contribution to 2.5 percent of GDP, 0.5 percentage points above the minimum required for membership.

"Putin cannot win this war. He cannot even think he has won. That is why we need to keep concentrating on a policy of smart containment," the Estonian prime minister added, enumerating these as defensive aid to Ukraine, bolstered NATO support and the increase in defense spend noted above.

Kallas also noted that Tuesday marked 18 years since Estonia formally joined NATO. Denmark was one of the alliance's founder members, when it was first established in 1949.

Isolation of the Putin regime including via drastically reduced imports of its gas and oil were other key ways the aggressor could be headed off, Kallas added.

Prime minister Frederiksen is also set to visit Latvia and Lithuania.

This article was updated to include links to the Frederiksen-Kallas press conference video and both premiers' comments, and comments from Denmark's ambassador to Estonia.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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