ERR News
April 8, 2022

Secretary general for defense: Our aim is to double allied presence

Secretary General of the Ministry of Defense Kusti Salm said that Estonia will head to the NATO summit this summer seeking the doubling of allied military presence in the country. This would grow Estonia’s wartime force to 50,000 members.

“…This level can be achieved if NATO can have a division-size land unit in each of the three Baltic countries,” Salm said.

This would take doubling current allied presence in Estonia, Salm suggested. “The division will have to consist of a division headquarters, an allied mechanized brigade, made up of a headquarters and at least three battalions. A division-level formation that would have an indirect fire, air defense, intelligence or other unit which is being negotiated in terms of what our allies can contribute, as well as prepositioned equipment as part of the decision,” Salm said.

“All of this will create certainty that NATO can have a land division in Estonia on the brink of war. Units physically present in Estonia. Units that are trained and know every patch of forest, every local government, how to fight a war in Estonia and that have considered maneuvers and other operational aspects from every possible aspect,” the secretary added.

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“We will be in intensive talks April through June on the military, diplomatic and political levels. These will be especially important with our British and American, but also Baltic colleagues. The decision should materialize by the third week of June, which is when a NATO defense ministerial is planned,” the secretary general said.