Estonian Defence Forces March 31 2014
On Friday, [March 28) Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, General Patrick de Rousiers expressed his appreciation for the Estonian Defence Forces and authorities for maintaining the commitment to initiate the mission in the Central African Republic, especially considering the past weeks´ events in Europe.
According to Commander of Estonian Defence Forces, Major General Riho Terras the initiation of the mission in the Central African Republic is urgently needed to avoid a worsening of the situation. Estonia is prepared to deploy a platoon size unit along with support elements to the EUFOR RCA mission.
At the meeting, Major General Terras provided the European Union Military Committee Chairman with Estonia’s assessment on the current regional security situation and recent changes due to the situation in Ukraine. Impact on Russia from the current sanctions implemented by the European Union as well as possible changes in EU’s foreign and defence policy were also discussed.
According to de Rousiers he appreciates Estonia´s commitment to participate in missions in areas where Estonia has no historical links. “This commits us to display solidarity in situations where Estonia feels pressured,” he added.
General de Rousiers also met with the Minister of Defence, Sven Mikser; Undersecretary of Defence, Sven Sakkov and the Commandant Baltic Defence College, Major General Vaitalijuš Vaiksnoras.
The European Union Military Committee is the highest military body set up within the European Council. It directs all EU military activities and provides the Political and Security Committee with advice and recommendations on military matters.
The Committee is composed of the Chiefs of Defence of the Member States, who are regularly represented by their permanent Military Representatives.
Estonia is currently participating in the EU Training Mission in Mali with a training unit and staff officers, whose assignment along with other European armed forces is to train and advise the Mali Defence Forces. Estonia has previously participated in European Union mission Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina and EUFOR Atalanta to deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.
Estonia will be contributing to the EU Nordic battle group next year. The Nordic battle group consisting of nearly 2000 members will be ready to deploy to European Union initiated operations in the first part of 2015. Estonia has been part of the Nordic Battle group along with Finland, Sweden, Norway and Ireland in 2008 and 2011. Latvia and Lithuania will be joining the battle group for the first time in 2015.
EU Military Committee Chairman: Estonia’s dedication commits us to solidarity