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Estonia joins Operation Interflex to train Ukrainian forces

Ukraine National Day flag ceremony in Kadriorg.
Ukraine National Day flag ceremony in Kadriorg. Source: Siim Lõvi / ERR

Estonia will join the UK-led Operation Interflex, the largest scheme for training the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur (Reform) announced this week.

Within Interflex, Estonian instructors will provide soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces with basic training in the United Kingdom.

The group has already trained 34,000 Ukrainian recruits "with essential frontline combat skills". Estonia will be the 12th country to contribute, alongside the Nordic countries, Australia, and Canada.

Estonia will also continue to participate in the European Union Military Assistance Mission (EUMAM) in support of Ukraine with specialized courses in Estonia.

Pevkur said Ukraine needs ongoing support from Western countries in training new and additional armed forces personnel in this war, as well as weapons and ammunition.

"That is why Estonia has decided to join Operation Interflex, in which instructors from our own Defense Forces will soon be training Ukrainian soldiers in the United Kingdom," he said at a virtual meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (Ramstein meeting) on Tuesday.

Ministers were given an overview of developments on the battlefield, critical capability requirements, the work of capability coalitions, and the latest provisions of aid to Ukraine.

"I also challenged my colleagues to provide 0.25 percent of GDP in long-term support of Ukraine, which is something Estonia has already decided to do," Pevkur said.

"Our calculations show that if all of the Ramstein countries contributed that much, the total amount could come to €120 billion each year, which would create the right conditions for a Ukrainian victory."

Ahead of the meeting, the minister also held bilateral discussions with his Ukrainian counterpart Rustem Umerov.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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