Danish soldiers slated to arrive in Estonia later this year as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battalion-sized battle group must be careful as they may encounter provocations by Russian agents aiming to compromise them, Danish daily Politiken reported.
According to an analysis in the report published by the Danish Defence Intelligence Service (DDIS), the threat that Danish soldiers will be compromised and harassed is high, Politiken reported on Friday.
Soldiers must be especially careful when they are granted leave to visit Tallinn or Tartu and must also be careful with whom they socialize, as they could be lured into compromising situations.
Denmark's Minister of Defence Claus Hjort Frederiksen, who attended the ceremony and military parade marking the start of the service of NATO's eFP battle group in Estonia also acknowledged the potential threat. "Soldiers might fall victim to provocations and the armed forces are addressing the risk," said the Danish minister.
There are approximately 1,200 allied soldiers in the battle group stationed at Tapa. The U.K. is contributing more than 800 troops and a range of combat equipment, including Challenger 2 tanks, Warrior infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), AS90 self-propelled artillery as well as armored vehicles. France is contributing 300 personnel and various equipment, including Leclerc tanks, VBCI IFVs and VAB armored vehicles.
The French will be serving at Tapa for the next eight months, after which they will hand over responsibility to a Danish contingent of similar size.
The leaders of NATO member states decided at the Warsaw Summit last July to station NATO battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland in response to the changed security environment. The allied battle group based in Estonia is led by the U.K. and supported by France and Denmark.
Editor: Aili Vahtla