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Terras in Washington: NATO deterrent needs to be 'visible and tangible'

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras.
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras. Source: Roomet Ild/

Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Gen. Riho Terras said on Wednesday that an American military presence in the Baltic states needs to be visible and tangible.

Terras met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford in Washington on Wednesday. Gen. Dunford is the United States' highest-ranking military officer and the principal military advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump. In the meeting, the generals discussed defense cooperation between the U.S. and Estonia.

Dunford and Terras also discussed the security situation on NATO's eastern flank and preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels this summer.

According to Terras it is important that the U.S. military presence in the area is "visible and tangible" to make for a sufficient deterrent against Russia's increasingly aggressive behavior.

"Estonia's defense cooperation with the United States is broad and of strategic importance. As NATO's most powerful member state, the USA's presence in Europe is of key importance, as it helps guarantee a military balance on the continent," Terras was quoted saying in a press release.

"We agree with the USA that planning and ensuring NATO's military capabilities, we need to start with the real threat situation and do everything to make a military deterrent against whatever opponent credible and practical in case it is needed," the general added.

Terras is also meeting with the commanders of the different branches of the U.S. military. He also attended the funeral of former EDF commander Gen. Aleksander Einseln at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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