The Ministry of Defense of Estonia reported that two NATO warships, one Spanish frigate and one British, will arrive in Tallinn next week, BNS reported. The warships are part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG1).
The group consists of two warships, the Spanish Alvaro De Bazan frigate and the British Iron Duke frigate. The ships will stay in the capital of Estonia until the 15th of May.
The NATO warships will attend the Estonian Navy’s anti-mine exercises before entering the port of Tallinn, a statement issued by the Ministry of Defense reported.
On May 2nd, the military exercises Spring Storm began in Estonia. Almost 6,000 servicemen from a number of NATO member states are participating, including troops from Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the US, Finland and Sweden. The exercises will last until 19th of May.
NATO’s activities in the Baltic have caused concern for Russian authorities. As stated by the first Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security of the Russian Federation, Franz Klintsevich, the concentration of NATO troops in the Baltic doesn’t guarantee the security of the Baltic countries, but only gives rise to additional risks.
In early April, Russian Su-24 aircraft flew dangerously close to the American USS Donald Cook destroyer in the Baltic Sea.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called the incident reckless and provocative. The Russian Ministry of Defense claims that Su-24 crews were conducting scheduled training flights over the Baltic in full compliance with international standards.
Following the incident, a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council was held, the first such summit since 2014. Following the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that profound differences exist between Russia and the Alliance.