Defense minister: Spain's military presence in Estonia very welcome

Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur with his Spanish counterpart Margarita Robles in Ämari, September 6, 2023.
Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur with his Spanish counterpart Margarita Robles in Ämari, September 6, 2023. Source: Ministry of Defense

Spain's military presence in Estonia currently includes both air policing, with the Spanish air force, flying from Ämari base, and air defense, thanks to the Norwegian Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS) unit also based in-country, Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) says.

Speaking on Wednesday Minister of Defense Pevkur said: "We are very happy about Spain's recent decision to extend the NASAMS rotation in Estonia, while Spain is also helping to guarantee the security of Baltic airspace, via the NATO air policing mission, here in Ämari."

The minister was visiting Ämari air base Wednesday, where he hosted his Spanish counterpart, Margarita Robles.

The two ministers had agreed to the NASAMS deployment extension on the sidelines of the EU defense ministers' meeting in Toledo, Spain, late last month.

The NASAMS contingent numbers around 100 personnel, who also took part in the annual large-scale Spring Storm (Kevadtorm) exercise this year.

Spain took over the Baltic air security baton from Britain's RAF at the start of August and will be here to the start of December.

This is the third time Spanish Eurofighter Typhoons have been based at Ämari.

Pevkur added that Wednesday's meet had provided "a good opportunity to discuss with Defense Minister Robles how jointly to implement the regional defense plans approved in Vilnius with the allies, and to ensure the effectiveness of the defense readiness of NATO and the EU."

"We have to fill the defense plans with force and capability, in order to actually implement them," he added.

The two ministers at their meeting also talked about Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine, agreeing that a critical period in relation to Ukraine's counter-offensive has been entered, hence the need for allies to immediately increase military aid to that country.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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