Estonian Ambassador to NATO Kyllike Sillaste-Elling and her colleagues from France, Denmark and the U.K. on Monday visited the allied forces stationed at Tapa Army Base in Northeastern Estonia.
Sillaste-Elling, French Ambassador to NATO Hélène Duchêne, Danish Ambassador to NATO Michael Zilmer-Johns and British Ambassador to NATO Sarah MacIntosh visited the allied units stationed at Tapa Army Base, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ambassadors were greeted by Commander of the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) Col. Veiko-Vello Palm along with Lt. Col. Owain Luke, commander of the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.
The diplomats were given an overview of the 1st Infantry Brigade, the allied battle group, the training of the units as well as future exercises. During a tour of the base, the ambassadors observed the living conditions of the troops, visited an exhibition of weapons and met with allied soldiers serving in Estonia, the press officer of the 1st Infantry Brigade said.
"The visit of allies to Estonia first and foremost indicates working toward joint goals, which are deterrence and increasing defense positions, the fight against terrorism, cooperation between NATO and the EU and relations between NATO and Russia," Sillaste-Elling said. According to the Estonian ambassador, joint preparations for the NATO summit to be held in Brussels next summer add importance to the visit.
"The primary topics of the NATO summit to be held in Brussels next July are partly pending," Sillaste-Elling said. "I consider it important that we along with our important allies can prepare for the meeting in advance already."
After visiting the base, the ambassadors met with Director General of the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Paul Teesalu as well as Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu chairman Marko Mihkelson.
While in Estonia, the four ambassadors are also scheduled to visit the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) as well as meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Editor: Aili Vahtla