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Belgian Prime Minister meets with his troops serving in Estonia

21. February 2019 - 11:55
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel meeting with the Belgian unit of the NATO Battle Group currently stationed in Estonia
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel meeting with the Belgian unit of the NATO Battle Group currently stationed in Estonia

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel arrived in Estonia today for a visit, meeting at the Defence Forces central training area with the Belgian unit of the NATO Battle Group currently stationed in Estonia. The Prime Minister was accompanied by Estonian Minister of Defence Jüri Luik.

According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, it is important that the presence of Allied forces in the Baltic Republics and Poland is seen as a joint NATO effort. ‘With the decision to bring their troops to Estonia, Belgium is demonstrating that defending Estonia is defending the entire NATO,’ Luik said. He added that Estonia’s defence cooperation with Belgium is long-term in nature and includes multiple plans across all branches of service. ‘We welcome the arrival of our Ally,' Luik added.

Belgium was the first country to begin securing Baltic airspace from Lithuania in 2004. On two occasions Belgian fighter aircraft have participated in the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission at Ämari. In May of last year, a Belgian logistics team participated in the large-scale training exercise Siil (Hedgehog), and our Navy also has long-term experience in cooperating with the Belgian Navy, whose mine hunters visit Estonia on a regular basis. In addition, Belgian air defence teams have participated on Estonia´s major annual exercises.