Denmark to deploy battalion to Baltic states
Denmark will allocate a battalion of soldiers to the Baltic states for the "long-term," the country's Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen said on Tuesday. Estonia said the move will strengthen regional security.
Between 700-1,200 soldiers will be sent to Latvia on rotation for between four and six months a year, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The forces will be based in Denmark the rest of the time but on high alert and ready to deploy at a moment's notice, the Danish Ministry of Defense said.
"We must be prepared for the Danish presence in the Baltics to be long-term, and there is a need for balancing between having soldiers on the ground and being ready to deploy them from Denmark," defense minister Troels Lund Poulsen said.
The move comes in tandem with Copenhagen withdrawing its 105-member unit from Iraq next year and pledging to up its focus on the Baltic Sea region.
Danish soldiers currently contribute to Estonia's Enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup at Tapa, which also includes personnel from the UK, France and Iceland.
Estonian Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) said the Danish battalion is a "positive step in strengthening the defense posture of NATO's eastern flank" and will "positively affect Estonia's security".
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Editor: Helen Wright