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Danish prime minister, defense minister visit Tapa army base

Jüri Ratas and Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Tapa, Jan. 14, 2018.
Jüri Ratas and Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Tapa, Jan. 14, 2018. Source: (Riigikantselei)

The Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the country's defense minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen visited the Estonian Defence Forces' Tapa base on Sunday. They were introduced to the activities of the NATO battle group stationed there. A Danish contingent arrived last week.

Prime Minister Rasmussen said in a speech that the Danes aren't here to increase tensions, but to increase security. He added that Russia needs to understand that what is happening in the Ukraine and in Crimea is wrong.

A contingent of the Danish army joined the NATO battlegroup stationed in Tapa last week. They are replacing French units and will work with British and Icelandic personnel who are already there.

The Danish ministers also met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), Defence Minister Jüri Luik (IRL), and the commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), Gen. Riho Terras.

2018 is Estonia's centennial. Ratas pointed out that both British and Danish troops had helped Estonia already in its War of Independence soon a hundred years ago and played an important role, contributing to Estonia being able to celebrate its 100th anniversary later this year.

The prime minister also referred to the three countries' contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, where they served side by side in the Helmand province in South Afghanistan. He also pointed out that Estonian and Danish personnel are training soldiers of the Iraqi army.

Defence Minister Luik said it was worth mentioning that the militaries of all of the allies currently present in Estonia had worked together on missions abroad before.

Another meeting of Rasmussen and Ratas is scheduled for Monday morning. The prime ministers will discuss opportunities for cooperation between Denmark and Estonia, including digital development, and issues currently on the European Union's agenda.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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