A British battalion of NATO troops has arrived at a military base in the Estonian town of Tapa, a hundred kilometers from the Russian border, reports Russian service of BBC.
As part of the strengthening of the "Russian" flank of NATO, 800 British and 200 French soldiers have been deployed in Tapa. This is one of four NATO battalions stationed in the Baltic countries and Poland.
In speeches at the ceremony, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid as well as the Defense Ministers of Estonia and Britain, Margus Tsakhkna and Michael Fallon, said that the deployment of British and other battalions within the territories of Eastern European NATO members would serve to strengthen the sense of unity within the Alliance, as well as its security.
"This is the largest British unit deployed in Eastern Europe in many years, and its dispatch demonstrates that we are committed to NATO - we are heading the unit here in Estonia," Fallon said. "And in addition, it shows that even though we are leaving the European Union, we continue to take care of security on the European continent."
Estonian Defense Minister Margus Tsakhkna said at a press conference after the ceremony and parade that the Alliance made the decision to deploy four battalions on the eastern flank "as a result of Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine."
According to the plan of the leadership of NATO and the Baltic countries, the four battalions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, should, while not being a large military force, nevertheless serve as protection, for example, from armed conflicts involving “military without insignia”, as happened during the annexation of the Crimea.